DFW Job Fair Offers Hope to Harvey Evacuees

More than 120 North Texas businesses came together Friday to offer temporary, part-time and full-time jobs to people who fled Southeast Texas after Hurricane Harvey.

"Alright, we have a winner! We have a winner for cash in your pocket," an event organizer said over the Dallas Sheraton conference center's speaker system.

A job fair is often an opportunity for a fresh start.

"I don't have a penny in my pocket," a man said to an interviewer looking into hiring him.

But this job fair is also out of desperation.

"Just a whole lot of prayer," said Shakemia Jackson, after being asked how she is staying positive.

Jackson said after Harvey, she and her fiancé slept in her car, then at two different shelters in North Texas.

More than 200 people came to the "Welcome to Dallas Harvey Hiring Event," and about 100 of them were Harvey evacuees.

The job fair offered attendees a computer area so they could write and print their resumes, get a complimentary food-handlers permit and also apply for jobs online.

"I want Dallas ISD jobs," said Karen, and English teacher from Houston, to a person helping in that computer area.

Karen said she's forced to see Harvey as an opportunity.

"Because you don't have a choice," she said.

She's here alone and has found refuge among others who are also staying in the downtown Dallas mega shelter at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center.

"Like the other night, we all had church, and it was kind of self-soothing," Karen said. "So, it’s kind of rewarding to be around people that know what you're going through. So in a sense, it doesn't feel like you're by yourself."

She's finding comfort while surrounded by potential for the future.

"So you're ready to go? Yay!" one booth erupted in celebration, after a young man was given a handshake and a job.

Around the room, other Houston evacuees rang a cowbell to note their new employment, including Jackson — who danced with joy while announcing she too got a job at the hiring event.

As for Karen, she's still waiting to find out what her future might hold. She said she didn't want to go back to Houston, and is hoping to start over in North Texas.

The next #100KOpportunities job fair is scheduled for Oct. 4 from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Redbird/Southwest Center Mall, located at 3662 W. Camp Wisdom Road Dallas, Texas 75237.

REGISTER: You can register ahead of time here.

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