Diane is a mother of four who has lived in Los Angeles all her life and has always had a passion for woodworking. Her father worked building the interiors for jets so Diane was around power tools from a young age. She still does woodworking when she can, saying "I never want to buy anything I can make". If there are ever wood scraps left over from a Would Works job, Diane puts them in her bag for when she has time or space to make her next project.
For years Diane worked in retail at home improvement stores such as Home Depot, Lowes and Orchard Supply Hardware. It was when the latter company, OSH, folded in 2018 that she found herself suddenly unemployed. When this financial blow was compounded with her mother's cancer diagnosis, her own mental health struggles, and a recent break up, Diane became homeless.
Luckily, she was able to safely house her four children with different family members and found short term housing for herself at a local shelter. After a lifetime of employment and stable housing, everything had suddenly changed:
"I walked down these streets forever, you know? I've lived here all my life and I didn't know how bad the homeless thing was..." she says.
Diane's Would Works goal was to help pay installments on a used pick up truck, but she says that Would Works has also helped provide her with much needed perspective on a larger life goal--to somehow make a living as a builder.
"This is me taking a step back and trying to do what I passionately want to do... It's fun, I like it. This is what I do-this is what I want to do".
Since finishing the Would Works program, Diane found employment at Ace Hardware and has gone back to school for carpentry at the Los Angeles Trade Technical College. We are so happy she was able to find the time and space to continue to pursue her craft.
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Also in Our Artisans
Meet Taaj, Tim and Quinn – Three of our Artisans in Would Works’ Young Makers Program.
The Young Makers Program provides youth the opportunity to learn the beginning fundamentals of woodworking. At WW they learn to fabricate kitchen products and furniture all the while gaining experience using tools and machines in the wood shop that will prepare them for jobs when they graduate from our program.