Ishmael is originally from Long Beach and he moved to Los Angeles in 2006. He got an x-ray license in the 90's and worked for many years as an x-ray technician. Sadly, he started to struggle with drug addiction and alcoholism which resulted in chronic homelessness. While homeless, he spent years in and out of correctional facilities, transitional facilities, and sober living centers.
He's proud to say he eventually got sober and has stayed sober and is now in permanent housing. Ishmael is grateful to receive case management as part of the wrap around services at his permanent supportive housing site. He went back to school in 2014 to become a drug and alcohol counselor and help others who struggle with addiction.
Ishmael's Would Works goal is to pay his rent and bills for the month of December so that he can save up to visit his daughter and grandchildren in Colorado for Christmas.
Despite his claim that he's "not a woodsmith or anything like that", Ishmael sure impressed us with his hard work and his innate understanding of wood! We are inspired by his story and wish him a happy holidays with his family.
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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.