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Catherine H. loves every aspect of her new job – especially being able to pay her own rent!

Our Work Place Wednesday feature, Catherine is one of several individuals from Chapel Haven working for SAS Retail Services, doing tasks related to “category resetting.”

In simple terms, Catherine rotates among various Stop & Shop stores in the New Haven area, organizing inventory in various grocery departments under the supervision of a manager from SAS.

“I love it,” Catherine says of her nearly full-time job. “I’m using my organization skills. I like working with my co-workers,” and, best of all, “I get to pay my rent myself.”

Catherine was placed in the job through Chapel Haven’s Center for Employment Services and Opportunities (CESO). Staff from CESO assessed Catherine’s vocational skills and helped her interview for a job that matched her strengths.

Catherine said being a part of Chapel Haven’s PAVE program at Yale-New Haven Hospital for a year helped her gain organization skills and also helped her learn how to pace out the average work day.

”I set my alarm at 10 a.m. for my first break. I set 12 o’clock to start my lunch and I set it for 12:30 to finish,” she said as she finished up a shift at the West Haven Stop & Shop.

Catherine also has gained good transportation skills to help her get to and from work. Twice a week, she takes My Ride to the Stop and Shop stores in West Haven and Milford, and twice a week she takes a city bus to get to and from the two New Haven Stop & Shops.

Asked for any advice she might give people in a new work setting, she said, “Pay attention. Ask questions when you need to and time yourself for your breaks.”

Her mother, Carole Harris, said she is thrilled. “It’s a joy seeing Catherine so happy and independent – getting herself to work on time, succeeding at her job and bringing home a paycheck – living just like everyone else!”

Congratulations, Catherine, we are proud of you!