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Job Fair for Homeless

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By Jason Weinstein.
The homeless can face a number of obstacles as they look for a job.

"Substance use, lack of education, gaps in employment history, mental health disorders, and sometimes just not having a good address," said Shari Weiss

The Homeless Coalition of the Southern Tier held it's second annual job fair at the Broome County Library Monday. More than 100 people, not all homeless, met with over a dozen employers and service providers.

"You never know the situation why someone is homeless or formerly homeless. I feel you should give them an equal opportunity," said job seeker Eric Baker.

"People are just looking for opportunities like we all are today. You should never judge a book by it's cover due to a lack of work history," said job seeker Kerry Aurelis.

"You never know what's in someone's background, you never know the circumstances that put them where they are right now. They could have just been one paycheck away like a lot of people are," said John Snider, School Director for the Sage Trucking School in Vestal.

Organizers gave away 11 month-long bus passes to help people get to interviews and hopefully their new job.

"The nice thing for us here at Sage is that these are entry-level jobs. We train them to enter the industry. They're perfect candidates for us," said Snider.

"I see a lot of opportunities. I feel chances are pretty high. You just need to apply yourself," said Baker.

"The theme we heard was, 'This is a place I could come and talk to an employer who would actually maybe be willing to hire me.' So people feel like these barriers are being reduced," said Weiss.