But imagine trying to find a job in order to support your family while living on the streets. Or envision trying to obtain employment if you are just out of prison with a felony conviction.
Over the last couple years, it has been difficult for many people to find employment. And research shows that a job search becomes almost impossible when one is trying to rebuild a life from prison, addiction or homelessness. This is the problem that Belay Enterprises seeks to solve with its mission of partnering with the church to develop businesses that employ and job-train individuals rebuilding lives.
Out of this vision, Belay launched in 1995 its first faith venture Bud’s Warehouse, a home improvement thrift store selling recycled building materials. In 2002, Belay opened Baby Bud’s, a baby products thrift store that employs disadvantaged single mothers and Freedom Cleaning Services, a commercial cleaning company that also employs single mothers. These projects were followed in late 2003 by the incubation of the Good Neighbor Garage, a job training and car placement program, which has since incorporated into its own independent organization. Baby Bud’s and Freedom Cleaning Services were also spun off into their own non-profit organization in 2009.
And this year, Belay successfully started its fifth faith venture, New Beginnings Custom Woodworks, a custom cabinet manufacturing business that employs and job trains ex-offenders. Last year, these five Christ-centered enterprises employed 80 individuals with 41% of participants successfully graduating into better jobs in the community. Christianity Today recently profiled Belay Enterprises as part of its “This is Our City” Project viewable here.
Bud’s Warehouse employs single moms like Rachel who came to the program last year shortly after making a commitment to live drug free.
“I was absolutely jobless and living completely off of government assistance, but I didn’t want that anymore.” Rachel remembers. “I was tired of the ex-offender, former drug addict pity party and wanted to make a big change.” Within weeks of coming to work at Bud’s Warehouse, Rachel was quickly able to realize her biggest goal. Her young daughter moved back in with her. And today, Rachel has graduated the program into another job in the community.
“When I joined Bud’s, I had no self-worth, but I gained confidence working alongside others in Bud’s positive Christian environment. In five years, I plan to be driving an ambulance for a living,” Rachel says with a smile.
Rachel's Story from Andy Magel on Vimeo.
As we enter our 17th year as an organization, would you consider partnering with us by making an end-of-the-year donation? Over the next five years, Belay Enterprises hopes to grow our employment and job-training opportunities to 750 self-sustaining positions a year. Your contribution will help provide start-up funding towards several new projects including expanding New Beginnings Custom Woodworks, starting Purple Door Coffee to employ homeless youth, a new location for Bud’s Warehouse, and a new commercial kitchen project in partnership with the Denver Jail.
And your donation will be deposited into a revolving venture fund at Belay to be invested in the above projects. When the new businesses become self-sustaining, these monies will be repaid back to the fund for future investments in other new projects. So your donation today will invest in job creation for many years to come, making a big difference for the kingdom.
Thank you for your consideration. If you need more information on our programs, please feel free to give me a call at 303-296-3990. Visit the Belay Paypal web site to make an online contribution here. All contributions are eligible for an additional state enterprise zone credit.
I pray that your family will be blessed during this season of Christmas with the celebration of our Savior’s birth!