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Phoenix Ministry plans expansion as more people seek services

Amanda Greene

After recently celebrating its 10 year anniversary, Phoenix Employment Ministry saw the highest number of clients at an orientation in its history.

Amanda Greene of Wilmington Faith and Values tells how the ministry that helps the Port City’s homeless and near-homeless population find jobs is growing and giving them hope.

It’s a good day when someone gets to squeeze the rubber chicken at Phoenix Employment Ministry. That elastic wail is the victory call meaning a client has found a job. 

In a down economy, the Rev. Don Skinner, Phoenix’s executive director, says he hears that chicken less and less.  In 2007, 98 clients found jobs through Phoenix, while in 2011 only 53 did.  But the need keeps rising.

Skinner says the ministry plans to double its current size and offer web, phone and interview training off-site. Phoenix also plans to implement a job retention program next year. 

But the ministry’s largest impact, Skinner says, is the support network the clients form.  As one client wrote in a testimony about her time at the ministry: “Phoenix doesn’t exist just to find people jobs. It exists to repair broken souls.”