Jordan called a local shelter home for many years after living on the streets and "couch surfing." He was 16.  He dreamed of one day using his talents and passion to become self-sufficient, yet kept those dreams to himself. Jordan had suffered years of depression, anxiety and hopelessness. He said he found solace at the shelter for the homeless as it "took me away from my problems."

A few months into the COVID-19 pandemic, Jordan was introduced to SOWMA's Bridge Program and his now Mentor Jim Whalen. His case manager first visited our office for academic materials and a writing journal to help Jordan collect his thoughts.

It was there he met Bridge Program Director Jonathan Vincent, who heard his story and soon introduced him to a business executive turned SOWMA Mentor, Jim Whalen. Jim's first words to the reticent young man were, "Right now may be your past and present, but it won't be your future."

An aspiring entrepreneur with a talent for cabinet making, Jordan was quick to show Jim hidden photos of the tables, bureaus and other furniture pieces that were stored on his phone and in his dreams.  He was first introduced to woodworking at a shop class while attending a vocational high school.  His eyes widened as he eagerly described the craftsmanship and details behind each piece he has since created and stored away. 

Jim was visibly impressed. The furniture and details were stunning. He set up informational interviews with agencies such as SCORE (Service Corp of Retired Executives) and together they researched local schools that offered business courses. They began a portfolio and Jordan started full-time work at a local tool shop.

Today, the two are brainstorming company names, researching craft fairs, Etsy and other online commerce platforms. They are talking about websites, business cards and ROI, a term that sparked joy as Jordan contemplated the meaning. 

He is living in a safe, affordable apartment, playing the guitar and enrolling in online webinars.  When he begins to feel anxious, he picks up the phone and calls Jim.

"Sometimes the only thing that keeps me going is that I want to see how this movie plays out," Jordan said as he looked mischievously at his new friend Jim.  






Donate Now

Connect with Us

We're on social networks. Follow us and stay in touch. 
Click to subscribe to our newsletter

United Way of Greater Plymouth County

Contact us

School on Wheels - MA
100 Laurel Street
Suite 121
East Bridgewater, Massachusetts 02333


Federal Tax ID 20-1020880