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LaFern works with Avivo to support his daughter and find job he loves

“Being with my daughter is probably the greatest thing that’s happened to me,” says LaFern. LaFern credits Dakota County and Avivo with helping fast-forward his transition from homelessness and unemployment to a more stable, positive, life situation. He’s proud of the work he’s put in to support his daughter and restart his life. He can’t imagine doing it without her.

“Avivo helped me reach my peak faster than I would have on my own. Just by the resources and time they spent with me,” says LaFern. “I started working on my resume. How to talk to people… job interviews and all that.”

“Avivo helped me reach my peak faster than I would have on my own. Just by the resources and time they spent with me.” 

His positivity is a dramatic shift from several years ago. He’d spent much of his young adult life in prison, and after that supported his daughter from afar through a series of dead-end jobs. His Avivo case managers worked with him to find a job he loves, working at an athletic apparel e-commerce company based in Eagan, and to set goals and priorities that are attainable.

“It feels good to be employed again. Really, really, good – especially at a job that I like,” says LaFern. “Now I’m on stage two of my goals: getting my [drivers] license and finding a two bedroom apartment for me and my daughter.”

“It feels good to be employed again. Really, really, good – especially at a job that I like.”

When LaFern gained custody of his daughter, now 11 years old, it sparked a significant change in his mindset. “There just came a time in my life where I’m like ‘she’s gotta be my main focus,’” he says. “You can take care of her financially, to an extent, but she needs more than that.”

LaFern’s employment stability has allowed him to develop his relationship with his daughter. “Now communication is possible. When she gets home from school I can say ‘Hey, how was your day?’ and stuff like that. There’s nothing like looking into her eyes and seeing the sincerity.”

“Being with my daughter is probably the greatest thing that’s happened to me.”

“It’s a great feeling to provide for my daughter. She’s smart. She’s doing wonderful in school. And she makes me proud.”

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