Supporting local social service agencies like Shepherd’s House is a top priority for Wayne Farms Dobson, which recently presented a $5,000 check to help underwrite the organization’s homeless shelter operation. But financial support is only one aspect of community partnership for the Dobson team. The company has also signed on with Shepherd’s House as a resource for the agency’s “Jobs First” program, offering training and plant positions to homeless adults and even providing transportation to and from the job.

“We wanted to help Shepherd’s House give residents the opportunity to change their situation,” said Dobson complex manager Matthew Wooten. “Providing financial support is important, but helping people find employment is even more impactful,” said Wooten, who noted that a number of former Shepherd’s House residents have been able to get back on their feet and leave the facility thanks to gainful employment at the Dobson complex. At any given time, 7-10 shelter residents are working with Wayne Farms through the “Jobs First” program, and as they graduate and move on to other opportunities, Wooten stressed that new positions at Wayne Farms are always available. “Right now we’re paying $17-20 an hour with signing bonuses and we can have people working the day they apply.”

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Wayne Farms has been a long-time supporter of Shepherd’s House, which provides basic lodging and meals for homeless individuals and families, along with an array of therapeutic, educational, lifeskills and health education classes and social services assistance. The 64-bed facility just completed a major renovation and expansion.