Our Vendors 

Jeff Berg: Getting back to where he was

Wed, Jan 25, 2012

Jeff Berg

StreetWise Vendor Jeff Berg fell on hard times when, due to the lagging economy, he lost his job in 2011 as a maintenance technician for packaging machinery. “After I lost my job, I had been living in my house with no utilities and no heat. Then I lost my house and went to the Lincoln Park shelter,” Jeff said.

Jeff seriously struggled with the shelter system, finding the numerous rules and regulations to be very hard to follow easily. He migrated from shelter to shelter in an effort to find a comfortable living situation. From Lincoln Park shelter, he went to A Safe Haven thanks to the help of StreetWise. “StreetWise has helped me all the time. They were there when nobody else was there. I owe a lot to StreetWise and I am indebted [to them],” Jeff said.

In August 2011, Jeff managed to find temporary work in his trade. He had hoped that it would develop into something more permanent, but unfortunately it did not and he once again found himself unemployed when his contract ended.

Jeff came back to StreetWise with bigger goals this time… to find a more permanent and private living situation. A few weeks ago, Jeff got his wish when he received a phone call from North Side Housing. He received an Single Room Occupancy living unit at the Lakeview YMCA and he is thrilled with all of the perks that come along with it. “You share a bathroom, but you can use the fitness room and the pool, too. I can relax a little bit now that I’m by myself. I do get up early and go out to work, but I can sleep in sometimes now. It’s a stepping stone, because I’m not done. I want to get back to where I was [before I lost my job],” Jeff said.

Jeff is trying to do everything he can to make sure that he regains the life he once had. “Every day, I’m on the computer looking for jobs and going on interviews,” Jeff said.

In his personal time, Jeff is also entertaining a number of hobbies to keep his physical and mental self healthy. “I’m glad that I’m in the YMCA now, because I can start working out again. I like to work out, but I couldn’t afford it. And I’m trying to study more. I go to the library and brush up on electronics,” Jeff said.

His faith in God has also helped him keep his head held high, despite the losses he’s faced. “I turn everything over to my higher power, which is Jesus. I go to Moody Church (1630 N. Clark St.). I have to have faith that he will take care of me. And I know He will take care of me one way or the other. He always has. He brought me to StreetWise. He’s brought me through being homeless to actually getting into an SRO and I have faith that he will give me more employment and I will go on progressing,” Jeff said.

To his customers, Jeff would like to say, “I really appreciate their help and I thank them from the bottom of my heart. They have blessed me in so many ways and I hope that we can continue our relationship.”

And last, but certainly not least, Jeff would like StreetWise to know how very grateful he is. “StreetWise has done everything for me,” Jeff said. “They’ve always been there when everybody else left me. StreetWise was always there. They never turn me down no matter what.”

Written by Brittany Langmeyer,
StreetWise Staff

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