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Breaking the Cycle of Chronic Unemployment Yvonne Nair, CEO Saffron Strand, Inc. Saffron Strand, Inc. 124A Washington Avenue, Unit C Point Richmond, CA.

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Presentation on theme: "Breaking the Cycle of Chronic Unemployment Yvonne Nair, CEO Saffron Strand, Inc. Saffron Strand, Inc. 124A Washington Avenue, Unit C Point Richmond, CA."— Presentation transcript:

1 Breaking the Cycle of Chronic Unemployment Yvonne Nair, CEO Saffron Strand, Inc. Saffron Strand, Inc. 124A Washington Avenue, Unit C Point Richmond, CA Tel: (510) Fax: (510) Website:

2 Our Mission Building job skills and increasing employment of homeless adults and youth in Richmond and other Bay Area communities Providing public education and professional training to increase employment and economic self-sufficiency of homeless, hard-to-employ, and long-term unemployed

3 The Need: Get the Homeless & At-Risk Back to Work National overview California situation Contra Costa County challenge Richmond -- the Perfect Labor Storm

4 Major challenge – homeless, hard-to-employ, and long-term unemployed face barriers to employment that determine duration of unemployment Technical barriers Psychological and behavioral barriers Saffron Strand intake process Technical barriers have practical solutions. Psychological and behavioral barriers require case management and intentional community. Challenge of Work Readiness

5 Definition of trauma Causes of trauma Impact of trauma Shifting the focus Coping strategies Taking the fence down Case Management Tools: Trauma Informed Care

6 What is Motivational Interviewing? Why is it used? How does it work? Readiness for change Stages of Change 1.Precontemplation 2.Contemplation 3.Preparation and determination 4.Action and will power 5.Maintenance Case Management Tools: Motivational Interviewing & Behavior Change

7 Definition of intentional community Role of the intentional community Social supports of an intention community Intentional Community

8 Homeless People Want to Work Sacramento Homeless Connect Homeless survey in Austin, Texas Homeless survey in Baltimore, Maryland Homeless survey in Portland, Oregon Saffron Strand’s interest survey

9 “Employment and Income Supports for Homeless People” -- David Long, John Rio, Jeremy Rosen in National Symposium on Homelessness Research, 2007 “Alternative Employment Strategies for Hard- to-Employ TANF Recipients” -- Erin Jacobs and Dan Bloom, MDRC, 2011 Saffron Strand experience -- stipend versus no stipend What Research Shows

10 Saffron Strand Center: Work-Ordered Day TimeGeneral ActivitySkills Building 9:00 a.m :00 a.m.  Member sign in  Breakfast  Work readiness update  Employer/co- worker issues  Answering phones  Shelter/ housing needs and issues  Food needs  Health issues  Domestic violence  Mental health/substance abuse issues  Criminal justice issues  Working in an environment of trust, respect and dignity  Preparing for the work day  Dressing appropriately for work  Work related social interactions with other volunteer staff and other members  Appropriate phone communications  Responding to potential employers and others in a timely fashion  Learning to use office equipment and software consistently and accurately  Learning and accessing resources to address their individual needs

11 Saffron Strand Center: Work-Ordered Day TimeGeneral ActivitySkills Building 10:00 a.m :00 p.m.  Addressing immediate, emergent issues that would interfere with membership or employment  Targeted job search  Resumes and cover letters  Job interview skills practice  Applying to schools  Financial aid applications  Help with homework assignments  Clean Slate applications  Other benefits applications  EEOC complaint issues Technical skills  Working on the computer  Key boarding skills  Learning effective  Answering phones, professional messages  Internet searches  Microsoft Office Suite and other software Soft skills  Working with diverse co- workers, supervisors, etc.  Time management  Managing resources  Appropriate work-related language and behavior  Dealing with racism, stereotypes and biases

12 Saffron Strand Center: Work-Ordered Day TimeGeneral ActivitySkills Building 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. Lunch Informal involvement of “intentional community” in addressing issues  Team work in the kitchen  Proper food handling, preparing and serving  Table manners  Proper nutrition  Cleaning up 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.  Daily Center operations, community outreach, projects  Programming questions  Finding member resources  Presentations to funders and community leaders  Leading member meetings  Benefit information  Warm line outreach  Recruitment  Annual Conference, etc.  Critical thinking skills  Applying logic to projects  Appropriate use of office equipment and software  Creative work  Skills for special projects  Learning how to speak to community leaders  Leadership training  Member advocacy training  Giving back

13 Why It Works Trauma-informed, professional-quality working environment which offers a medium of trust, respect, and dignity Emotional support through an intentional community dedicated to achieving gainful employment or enterprise for every member Staging area during normal business hours in which to practice life, social, and work skills Identification and reinforcement of individual strengths, including factors of resiliency which enable recovery from the trauma of homelessness Transition from learned helplessness and survival conditioning to self-reliance and giving back to the community Empowerment of each member as an economically independent individual with valuable work skills and experience worthy of respect and paid compensation

14 Case Study 1: Clinton 24 year old African American male born and raised in Texas Lived in several foster homes and emergency shelters as child Raised in very rigid, religious foster homes Moved to California in search of employment History of serial employment lasting no longer than 6 months to a year

15 Case Study 2: Natalie 34 year old African American female raised in Richmond, CA Had long criminal history due to drug abuse and mental health issues Due to early exposure, found education and employment in social services field in order to make changes in system she found to be flawed Held positions in AODA rehabilitation clinic, child services programs, and mental health clinic but was always terminated for lack of training and inappropriate behavior

16 Case Study 3: Anderson 67 year old African American male born and raised in the Bay Area Suffered exposure to drugs and alcohol as a child Lived several homeless shelters as adult with repeated drug rehabilitation relapses Lived in very rigid, religious treatment facility and transitional housing program Mouth had most teeth missing with abscesses and ulceration due to chronic drug abuse History of serial employment lasting no longer than 1 year

17 Case Study 4: Silvia 26 year old Hispanic female born in rural Mexico Emigrated to U.S. at 16 years old for a better life Education limited to 6 th grade level, spoke very little English Had 3 children – 2 grade school aged, 1 toddler Had extended family in U.S. Spouse required Silvia to stay at home raising children but spouse unable to make enough money to solely support the family Had several jobs cleaning homes and offices and working in food services, but was terminated due to lack of training and child care issues

18 Saffron Strand Outcomes More than 250 homeless and low income people served 210 total members 74 active members 12 very active members 108 currently employed 41 employed 2 years or more 37 employed 4 years or more 66% African Americans 18% Caucasians 8% Hispanics 6% Asians 2% Native Americans 42% Ages % Ages % Ages % Ages 76+

19 Thank You! Questions? Saffron Strand, Inc. 124A Washington Avenue, Unit C Point Richmond, CA Tel: (510) Fax: (510) Website: Thank You!


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