I Knew 2016 Was Going To Be My Year! The Latrice Scott Story

Latrice Scott has been looking for her own place for over 6 years. While staying with family and friends helped her avoid living on the streets, not having a permanent place to call her own had been a major cause of stress in her life, yet she never stopped working. Many nights Latrice did not know where she would be sleeping after she got off work. She would keep all her belongings in a small backpack, head to work, and start calling friends to see if they would be fine with her spending the night when she was finished with work. A few relatives and friends let her stay for a few days or weeks at a time, Latrice never had a place to call her own.LSPic4

When asked about her experience during this time and how she remained so positive, Latrice simply stated, “never give up. Yeah, just never give up.” In fact since 2002, Latrice worked ten years at Arby’s, four years at Panera Bread, and three at Schlotzsky’s Deli, at times holding multiple positions. “The thing I love the most about Latrice,” Chris Smith, Latrice’s manager at Schlotzsky’s explained, “is that she generally is the most upbeat, friendly, happy person here. I love having her up front because she has a great attitude with customers and they always love her.”

On her days off, Latrice loved to come in to Community Involvement Programs’ (CIP) Day Services to volunteer and do various activities throughout the Twin Cities. She worked closely with Razenia Cumber, a CIP Community Support Specialist, who was a great advocate for Latrice’s independence, encouraging her to be open with her team about her struggles. “I knew that everyone at CIP was there for me: Razenia, Pierce, Melissa, and everyone. I knew that I could reach out to them and they would help and support me.”

At a team meeting in November of last year, after months of taking care of her sick mother, Latrice listed some of her goals for the next few months. This list included finding an apartment, finding a second job or a full-time position, and eliminating some of her debts. Yet even during a stressful meeting, Latrice showed her penchant for helping others no matter her own situation, as she clarified, “I do not just want to abandon [my manager] and Schlotzsky’s. I want to make sure they get through the holidays.”LSPic3

Last month, an amazing opportunity presented itself and Latrice applied and interviewed for an Assistant Position at the Governor’s Residence on Summit Ave. in Saint Paul. Immediately after her interview, Latrice beamed, “I know I got the job!” confident that she had just had an amazing interview. Less than two weeks later, Latrice was proven correct; she was hired. But this was not the only great news she got that day. Just hours before finding out about her new job, Latrice was told that she was no longer homeless; she had finally, after 6 years of searching, found her own apartment. Barely able to speak over the laughter and happiness in her voice, Latrice said, “I knew that 2016 was going to be my year!”

A week later, on the same day again no less, Latrice signed her lease and filled out the paperwork for her new position at the Governor’s Residence. While completing the paperwork, Latrice was given a calendar containing the important dates and holidays for the next year, and the first thing she said was “I can put this on my own fridge finally!”LSPic

Latrice has since moved into her apartment and started training at her new job. Latrice works with the Governor’s staff, assisting in the various areas which help assure the residence runs smoothly, which will include housekeeping, grounds keeping, helping in the kitchen, and more. Latrice loves the variety and the fact that each day is unique. But mostly she loves the atmosphere and the people she works with. Latrice recently said, “I love it here. Everyone is great and I am very happy to be working with them.”

In the past month, a lot of great changes have happened in Latrice’s life. None of these changes would have been possible if she had not followed her own advice to “never give up,” and she did so with a positive attitude. “She just really surprised me on how encouraged she stayed in the whole process,” observed Razenia. “When her mother got sick she stepped up and took care of her – even with her own problems. She knew it was up to her to break out and take care of herself. She stayed positive, and it amazed me.”

Latrice, through working hard and maintaining a positive outlook, has turned a new corner, but she did want to take a moment to thank her team at CIP. “I want to thank them for all their help. Their support has helped me to get where I wanted to be.”



Author and Photo credits: Pierce Luker, Employment Consultant


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