Safelight Job Training Program
In May of 2013, Mainstay opened a café to address the gap in employability for clients, helping them develop the skills they need to enter the workforce and provide for their families. Dandelion is a full-service restaurant and caters a wide range of events as well as offering weekday breakfast and lunch. The program is designed to assist clients in building skills and the experience to obtain lasting employment and financial sustainability. Intern opportunities are also available in the Safelight Resale Store for those interested in retail rather than food service training options. Our Resale store was the first in Henderson County, opening in 1990! In 2016 and 2017, the Client Intern program was expanded to include the Resale Store and Sewing internships (Sewing on hold in 2022 due to lack of funds and client interest).
Program Information

  • Onsite safe employment opportunities
  • Supportive educational environment
  • Personalized onsite job coaching
  • Individual job support case management
  • Strengthens interpersonal skills
  • Increases financial stability with planning and budgeting
  • Builds workforce development within our community
  • To learn more contact:

    Missy Blackwell

    Job Training and Housing Program Director

    Success Story

    In 2020 I found myself homeless after leaving a relationship with someone who did not see my worth and surrounded by trauma. I had no job, was stealing food, being thrown in jail for missing court dates, and the one thing that was worse than any other, my four children were taken the year before. I was not putting the most important things in this world first, my children and myself. I was alone with no food, no phone, and no hope. I asked God to forgive me and that night he saved me. I packed my few belongings and asked my one friend to come and get me to escape my life of trauma, addiction, and abuse.

    I first went through detox in Black Mountain for treatment allowing me the opportunity to get my life back on track. Then last October I joined SafeWorks, a collaborative partnership between Safelight’s Job Training Program and Community Action Opportunities’ LifeWorks Program. Since working with these partners, I now have my own apartment, a great job and a reliable vehicle. I also enrolled in school at Blue Ridge Community College and graduated with my certification in phlebotomy. Most importantly I completed the requirements from Department of Social Services and now have trial home placement with all my children.

    I have created this amazing life to support all my children and myself. I have surrounded myself with strong powerful women who want me to be successful. I am grateful to be able to continue this journey regaining control over my life with the support of God, my church family, my Life Works Coach, the staff at Safelight, and the love and support from my family and friends. --A.

    Where Interns Train
    Dandelion sign

    Dandelion Café started in 2013 and provides skills in the restaurant industry from food preparation to customer service.

    Safelight Resale Store

    In 2016, the job training program expanded to include the Safelight Resale Store providing opportunities to gain skills in retail sales.


    2023-2024 Annual Sponsors:

    Stuller Power Solutions
    Champion Comfort Experts
    Advent Health
    Relocate 828
    Dunlap Construction
    Horizon Heat and Air
    Southern Alarm
    UNC Health Pardee logo

    Funded By:

    Governors Crime Commission
    Council For Women
    Family Violence Prevention Services Program
    United Way
    Hunter Hometown Foundation
    Mary Kay Foundation

    Memberships and Affiliations:

    NCCASA Member
    NCCADV Member
    NCA Accredited Member
    Charity Navigator Safelight Page
    Impact Health logo and website link