V.A. hosts job fair for veterans

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DUBLIN, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Three years ago, Bernida Hawkins was forced to leave her damaged home.

“It needed so much work on it and I didn’t have the money or the resources at that time,” Hawkins said.

Hawkins eventually became homeless.

“It was horrendous,” Hawkins said. “It was degrading. It was humiliating”

That wasn’t the only obstacle the Navy veteran faced in her life. About 35 years ago, when she served, she was diagnosed with Spasmodic Dysphonia, a disorder that affects her speech.

With some help from the Carl Vinson V.A. Medical Center, she was able to begin the process to get back on track. Especially with the V.A.’s job fair.

Thirty-six different employers came out to the V.A. to accept resumes and applications. Employment specialist, Gloria Smith, wanted to make employers available to everyone, especially those who live at the V.A.

“Some of them don’t have transportation, some of them don’t have the skills necessary to do online applications,” said Smith.

Hawkins lives at the V.A. and says she’s thankful she was given the opportunity to find work.

“They picked thirty-three companies that were willing to at least interview us on the spot,” Hawkins said. “Those that weren’t, they gave us information to the website we needed to go to.”

Interviews and applications that gave Hawkins, and hundreds more, hope. Hawkins said she will be contacting employers next week and is certain some will get back to her.