Meet Bonnie

Meet Bonnie

Bonnie is currently a member of our kitchen crew, and has been with the Ground Up team since fall of 2019. We'll let Bonnie share in her words:


I had just started to get on my feet, after years of chronic homelessness and substance abuse. I had a full-time job, doing laundry at a local 3-star hotel. I had moved out of my tent and into a roommate situation in NE Portland. I could see a light at the end of the tunnel…


The day I moved into the 2-bedroom apartment, officially paid our new roomie and got my key, I was “let go” from the hotel. Oh. Did I mention that I’m pregnant? Yeah, so I’m just starting my 2nd trimester when I lost my job. The roomie situation didn’t work out too well, either. My fiance and I left there, after about 75 days.


We stayed with family, on the conditions that we were only there to “eat and sleep.” I kept searching for work, while my fiance was dealing with some medical concerns. 


I had twelve job interviews, in five weeks, with nothing to show for it. 


Brian’s health problems were increasing and I started to feel hopeless, lost and desperate. But I continued my search for employment with determination.


*fast forward*


I bumped into a friend (now, co-worker) and explained my job hunt woes to her. She introduced me to Ground Up and gave me Julie’s email address. I emailed her the next day (I think it was Thursday) and was excited and surprised to receive a reply on Friday. The next Monday I had an interview, followed by a “working interview” on Tuesday. Needless to say, I got the job!

Bonnie Labeling Ground Up
One of the highlights of Ground Up is the community of women. We all support one another without judgement I can honestly say that I’ve NEVER felt so accepted, encouraged and enlightened at my place at work.


Julie and the whole team really feels like “coming home” to me.


Another point I feel was made, Julie (all management, really) met me where I was at. They understood and accepted my 10+ year gap in consecutive and stable employment. And I so appreciate that, and all it entails!


Here I am, 5 weeks away from bringing a new life into the world, and I wouldn’t be where I am, mentally or physically, without the help of all the ladies at Ground Up! As I grow rounder and less active, I am still coming to work. There is still so much for me to learn. 


Everyone has been super helpful, making sure I’m comfortable and well-fed. And all my needs are met, while on the clock.


I’m very proud to be part of the Ground Up team. Each and every day brings a new learning experience, blossoming friendships and knowledge that I’m part of the bigger picture. I look forward to continuing to grow and expand with Ground Up.


-Bonnie S. 

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