Chastity grew up in foster care in New Jersey from the age of seven, and was pregnant with her son by the time she turned 21. With a work history including serving as a safety manager and facilities administrator at Aeroforms, a contractor for Exxon Mobile, an Uber/Lyft driver and various positions managing fast food restaurants, she never experienced legal problems, drug or alcohol addiction like many of our clients do, but rather became homeless due to having to flee a domestic violence situation involving her son’s father.
After short stints in Texas and San Francisco, where her landlady made off with $3,000 of her hard-earned savings leaving her penniless, Chastity met a pastor from Auburn, where she stayed with a congregant for a few weeks before finally finding her way to Saint John’s last May. With her 10-year-old autistic son in tow, Chastity found herself having to start over, but she has risen to the occasion and has become a shining star at Saint John’s. She is bright, articulate, has strong technology skills, and worked her way quickly through Saint John’s Employment Training Program. She facilitated employment training for her co-workers with a menu change at Plates Midtown this fall, and also became a Tour Sister, leading members of the community on facility tours at Saint John’s.
On October 26, the trajectory of her journey was altered. It so happened that this particular facility tour, her first, was for Sacramento Police Chief Daniel Hahn and members of his staff, who were impressed with Chastity’s poise and demeanor. They all agreed she had the right stuff to be a police officer, and invited her on a ride-along to “test drive” this possible new career path.
“That was the best day of my life,” comments Chastity. “I got to see what police work looked like from the other side. It was eye-opening and exciting.”
Once she completes the credits necessary to enroll, the Sacramento Police Department has offered to sponsor her application to the police academy next summer. In the meantime, she will complete the requirements to become a CPO (Community Police Officer), and will work special events in the community. But that’s not all. She has a Plan B! Having always fancied a career in construction, on November 13 she started taking classes at the Local 118 in pursuit of her MC3 certification, a pre-apprenticeship program which will allow her work in the HVAC/sheet metal trade.
We can’t wait to see where she lands! Either way, we’re pretty sure it will be on her own two feet!
By Sue Cawdrey
Grants & Communications Manager
Saint John’s Program for Real Change