Thorton was one of the first people to enter Housing Forward’s workforce development program when it was launched in October 2020. He is now the lead worker on our Interim Housing Program sanitation crew. Every weekday, he supervises a crew of six workers who clean and sanitize the facility to meet COVID-19 protocols. “The program residents clean their own rooms,” said Thorton. “But keeping the common areas of the building clean at all times keeps us very busy. When a resident moves on from the program, our team sanitizes that room from top to bottom, to get it ready for the next resident.” 

The workforce development program is made possible through Village of Oak Park’s American Rescue Plan funding. In addition to providing temporary employment, the program focuses on helping participants build marketable job skills and support their permanent employment search. While taking part in the program, participants also attend classes focused on conducting a job search and interviewing. 

Thorton takes great pride in his work. “I want to leave at the end of the day knowing that I’ve done my best. Some of the days are long and not always easy, but that’s not an excuse not to do my best.”

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