Step Up Greensboro program helps people get life back on track

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Anthony Bass and his team are fixers.

“We have some individuals who came to us with some brokenness in them,” says Bass. “With hopelessness, homelessness.”

What Bass and his team provide is a step for them to get out of life’s gutter.

His organization is called Step Up Greensboro.

“What we do is give them the tools they need to go out and be employable,” says Bass. “We want them to have a career and there’s a difference. We call a job, J-O-B, which is Just an Opportunity to be Broke. We want them to have careers – careers means happiness and success.”

For people like Johnathan Holland, he’s hardly the type you’d expect to need help. Young, personable, energetic – and college-educated.

When things got tough for Holland, Step Up showed him how to get back on his feet and that started with a simple job at First Presbyterian Church in Greensboro.

“They said, ‘Well, we can’t do much but we’ll give you five hours, for one week,’” says Holland, recreating how he got hired. “And that five hours, the next month, turned into 40 hours a week.”

And now a permanent job.

Permanent is how Step Up sees its relationship with its clients.

“They don’t just come to the class and they’re gone,” says volunteer, Betty Hilliard. “There is a connection and they stay connected past when they get a job and are successful.”

Staff member, Theresa Graves, sums it up, very succinctly.

“We want to help people fly and that’s what we’re here for,” she says.

See Step Up in action in this edition of the Buckley Report.