Help for the Unemployed

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Being laid off, downsized or fired can be a blow to the ego and the pocketbook. To help, a United Methodist church in Atlanta is providing a free job-hunting ministry. More than 700 people—most of whom are not church members—have been given practical skills to get them working again.

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Man gets introduced: “He found out he lost his job yesterday.”

If fear has a face, you’ll see it on the 8.7 million Americans who are starting the year looking for work.

Sherrie Nacke (Crossroads Career Ministry): “Fear of uncertainty; fear of paying their bills. We do hear a lot of fears here.”

With unemployment hovering at nearly 6 percent, conversation at this job-hunting support group in Atlanta swings from optimism to terror as jobseekers share tales of dead leads and delays.

Crossroads participant: “My whole life is about getting stability again.”

Rick Kent “I tell people it’s listening to my phone not ring.”

Rick Kent was a well-paid sales director.

Rick chats in group: “In April, I was relieved of my duties.”

After calling everyone in his Rolodex, he turned to this church for help.

Speaker lectures group: “I want you to think in terms of possibilities, options and dreams.”

Sugar Hill United Methodist’s Crossroads Career Ministry responds to the needs of the unemployed by providing both emotional and spiritual support …

Speaker lectures “Accept that you’re going to have bad days.”

… as well as practical advice about interviewing and networking.

Man/group “A good lead for me would be a partner in a CPA firm.”

The support group brings jobseekers together so they can exchange leads; offer hope.

Rick Kent: “And it’s worth its weight in gold because it gives you some optimism.”

Juanta/home office: “Exactly. And you know where the Georgia Mall is?”

Laid off two years ago, Juanta Rudison fell into a deep depression.

Juanta Rudison: “I had gotten to the point where I didn’t want to work at all.”

With help from Crossroads, Rudison found the strength to start her own business and face her fears.

Juanta: “What they give you at Crossroads, they give you self-esteem. They bring that back to you.”


The Crossroads Career Ministry is run by church volunteers—all who have at one time been unemployed.