I continue to pray for you, Mustang, and I am sure the rest of our active BWS group do as well.
You are doing all the right things, and now it is just a matter of perseverance, a stiff upper lip, a positive attitude - and maybe a bit of creativity.
The firm that said they wanted to meet you may have you in mind for some other position that has not yet "officially" developed. You know, a situation where they are hoping to gain some piece of business, and when that happens, they will need more staffing...
Or else they may have someone they want to let go, and recognized that you MIGHT be a good replacement candidate... (In other words, they can't yet advertise a position, as it would tip their hand on a situation in which they are not yet ready to declare an opening.)
I offer this second option based on talking to my brother in Dallas last week. He owns a granite and marble fabrication company and called me because he wanted my "take" on what to do about a woman he hired as a scheduler, who can't seem to manage her job.
She's been there six months and despite the fact that he personally has trained her, he says that he still has to review her work daily, and that she seems to have a problem with short-term memory.
The person who had been in this position BEFORE the current employee did not need the same amount of training.
He wanted to know what to do. I told him to replace her - if she hasn't learned the job in 6 months, she is not going to ever learn it...
But of course, he doesn't want to let her go and then have to handle her job himself, while he starts the search process all over again... (So clearly, HE would be an example of an employer who is looking for a new employee, but isn't yet ready to run an ad... see my point?)
And going back to the agency that told you to call back, but then you heard from a friend that they are not hiring: The fact is, a lot of positions are filled without an official opening ever being identified and advertised for...
So the situation might actually be that the mutual 3rd party friend just is not "in the know."You are doing all the right things. Keep reminding yourself of that. And the volunteer work concept is a good one, as long as it does not keep you from having enough time to continue your search. The concept is, it keeps you busy AND gets you out in the world, which exposes you to more of those "as yet unposted" opportunities.