Sam’s Story: Seeing Past Barriers
Before finding Open Door Group, Sam was unsure about how to navigate Vancouver’s job market. She had immigrated to Canada as a refugee, and is also blind. Although Sam had plenty of work experience in Tehran, Iran—including working at a perfume store, running a small cafe at a post office, and volunteering to help newly-blind individuals gain independence and skills such as using their cane, finding audiobooks, and connecting to community resources—she was left feeling alone and unsupported in her new environment.
“After taking time to get to know Sam’s interests, Breezy presented her with potential employment paths, including restaurant work.”
Sam discovered Open Door Group through her caseworker at MOSAIC. Her case manager, Breezy, knew what she needed, and helped Sam create a resume. After taking time to get to know Sam’s interests, Breezy presented her with potential employment paths, including restaurant work. One place immediately resonated with Sam: Dark Table, an accessible blind dining restaurant where patrons eat in darkness and blind staff wait tables. Open Door Group supported Sam through an interview with the restaurant manager, and she was hired right thereafter. “After the first meeting, they said, ‘We need you,’” said Sam.
Securing this job changed Sam’s life in Vancouver, and she is grateful for the time and effort invested by her team at Open Door Group. Initially, she struggled to afford housing, but now she’s able to save money every month. Beyond security, Sam has gained confidence and created community through her employment. Dark Table is well-known across the city, and people get excited talking about the unique dining experience. “I’m doing something,” said Sam. “I can do it, I can make it. I can be more independent.”
“I’m doing something,” said Sam. “I can do it, I can make it. I can be more independent.”