Showing posts from February, 2014

Five Thoughts on Serving People Escaping Addiction in Colorado

Over the last week, all of us at Bud's Warehouse have been reminded how difficult it is to serve people rebuilding lives from addiction. Sometimes, sadly, drug abuse ends badly. And when it does, individuals who are dedicated to helping others often take it very hard. There's never easy answers when someone so very young with a lot of promise leaves behind two young children.  A couple of thoughts: Addiction is a terrible foe. It takes both individual choice and God's grace for someone to overcome the grip of drug abuse.  It saddens me that at the same time deaths from drug abuse seem to be rising, my state, Colorado, is in the midst of a group celebration of the legalization of marijuana. While this drug may not be as dangerous as others, do not be fooled into believing that its legalization will not damage lives in Colorado. Some will try this drug who otherwise would not have and will slip into other types of abuse. People who use marijuana will get hurt on the job

New Earth Works

Fresh vegetables, bread and coffee are changing lives in Washington State through the New Earth Works project that employs people transitioning from addiction, jail and gangs. Tierra Nueva , a faith-based community development organization in the Skagit Valley of Washington has combined resources of its three social enterprises, Underground Coffee Project , New Earth Farm and New Earth Bread into its new collaborative New Earth Works to deliver fresh vegetables, artisan bread and gourmet coffee to the Skagit and Seattle areas. Watch to learn more:

Ambitious New Economic Empowerment Program Starts in Lousiville, Kentucky

Access Ventures , in Louisville, Ky, is a developing faith venture project of Sojourn Community Church .  The project has started with a financially-sustainable housing project that has raised funds to renovate 20 homes in the disadvantaged community. Ownership of these homes will be transferred to the renters after they successfully complete a training program that includes training in work and life skills. Access Ventures plans to expand into micro-lending, business start-up classes and job training.  On their web site they define the following goals: ·  To restore people, through the power of the gospel ·  To demonstrate just, loving, and peaceful relationships ·  To equip and develop neighbors to work and support themselves and their families ·  To genuinely, and sacrificially, care for those in our neighborhoods and invite them to share in our lives This began with sustainable housing development (Access Housing) and has progressed into areas of economic empowerment with Ac

Employment Training Social Enterprises Should Take Another Look at Contract Labor Ventures

If there is such a thing as a moment, the social enterprise movement is experiencing it right now. This approach has become very popular in the non-profit world, especially among millennials seeking to create employment training opportunities. Almost every week someone contacts us here at  Belay Enterprises  wanting to learn about our model as they develop their own start-up social venture. In the rush of enthusiasm for social enterprise, potential practitioners often overlook how hard it is to start and sustain such projects. I spend a lot of time encouraging people in the non-profit sector to start taking risks because the sector often is biased against such action because of its funding model. Leaders don't want to disappoint donors because a project didn't work out. But organizations need to take risks in order to achieve growth in social enterprise. In addition, sustaining such a project can be equally difficult. Ventures that survive the start-up phase often require s

The Value of Going Deep in Transitional Employment Faith Ventures

Scalable impact has always been the mantra of social enterprise. How can a project be organized to maximize its societal benefit for each dollar spent while being able to accommodate growth without impacting marginal costs. As I talk with aspiring social enterprises practitioners, one question consistently reappears: Do I try to build a venture that maximizes employment opportunities or do I build a venture that maximizes the impact of each position? Individual organizations will answer that question differently depending on their mission and goals.  But for enterprises seeking to create employment opportunities for people rebuilding lives from addiction, homelessness and prison, a model that emphasizes investing more resources on fewer individuals creates better results...especially for faith-based initiatives. But this belief sometimes causes problems in attracting resources from foundations that emphasize looking at the cost per person served as a measuring line for organization