Name: Gloria Davis
Home city: Chicago
Organization affiliation: Chicago Coalition for the Homeless
What kind of work do you do?
“For the past six months, I have worked day labor at a meat-packing plant. I averaged 32 hours a week, and was paid the $8.25 Illinois minimum wage. I also began working part time in the office at the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless (CCH), one to two days a week, earning $15 an hour. I’m in my mid-50s and have held a variety of jobs over the years, including working four years as a bus coordinator at a South Side elementary school.”
What was your favorite job and why?
“My favorite jobs were the three years I worked with developmentally-delayed adults at a school. I also loved the year I worked as a paid intern in the event management office at the McCormick Place convention center. For me, to be able to see something from the beginning to the end was kind of cool, to see it blossom into an event, such as the Black College Fair, the dog show and the auto show.”
What lessons have you learned from your jobs?
“I learned that you need to be dedicated and enjoy what you’re doing to be successful. I also work part time at CCH now, and I like the people here. I feel part of something. I started out as a volunteer community leader. It helped me to find out that I have a voice, and I can speak out for those who don’t know they have a voice.”
What do workers and families need to succeed?
“They need a fair living wage and an employer that has a heart for families. My two sons are grown, but some people have issues with day care, or sick leave. Through CCH, I advocate for an increase in the minimum wage because I know that it’s very much needed. It’s a difficult position to be in to go to work every day but you cannot afford an apartment.”
Name of person who helped submit answers: Anne Bowhay of Chicago Coalition for the Homeless
Note: This profile is part of the Equal Voice News special edition for Labor Day. These submissions were edited for clarity.
– See more at: http://www.equalvoiceforfamilies.org/gloria-davis-a-mom-who-backs-employers-with-a-heart/#sthash.Srlis97y.dpuf