Exploring the intersection of faith & entrepreneurship for disadvantaged communities.
Rochester Furniture Manufacturing Business Employs the Chronically Homeless
Hope Initiatives in Rochester, New York, seeks to address the causes of poverty in its community by employing and job-training individuals with significant employability issues in a faith-based program.
The organization operates a manufacturing business that produces 20,000 pieces of furniture a year as well as a local moving and storage business.
Sometimes opportunity finds you. In 2003, Cherry Hills Community Church called Baby Bud's Director Dianne Sager with a question. The recovery organization that had been cleaning their facility had just closed and Cherry Hills needed a new partner. Would Baby Bud's be interested in cleaning the school at Cherry Hills? Normally a retail baby store would think twice about committing to a job completely unrelated to its core business. But Dianne had 20 years of experience managing a janitorial company prior to Baby Buds. She saw this as a new opportunity to employ more single moms. Within a couple of weeks, Baby Bud's added five single moms for a cleaning crew and Freedom Cleaning Services was born. Within a year, the business had grown to employ ten women with several other churches and commercial businesses as clients. One of the challenges to any business start-up is maintaining the focus on your core business when other opportunities arise. Sometimes it's good to pur
I was excited to see Catherine Rohr's essay "Why You Should Hire Ex-Cons" in Inc today. She makes a wonderful case that I hope many employers will read. I've long hoped the case for ex-offender employment would start getting a wider audience. As I've written before, employers need not fear hiring ex-offenders. They provide a excellent source of dedicated workers desiring to move beyond the mistakes of their past. And while you are at it, check out the great work Rohr's organization Defy Ventures is doing in NYC. Many business owners have overlooked a great source of untapped talent: former inmates. Many former drug dealers and gang leaders have skills and attributes you value most in employees, including charisma, resourcefulness, resilience, a willingness to take calculated risks, and strong management skills. " Why You Should Hire Ex-Cons ," Catherine Rohr in Inc , June 25, 2012 Read rest of the story here .
(Updated 7-6-11) I had the good fortune to attend the Christian Community Development Association’s annual convention this past month in Cincinnati, Ohio. One of my favorite experiences at the event was spending a lunch with Ryan VerWys of Kingdom Causes in Bellflower, California. He leads an innovative community development organization that has incubated a promising landscaping business as mission called Good Soil Industries . This project is a true faith venture that seeks to employ homeless and economically disadvantaged people in a self-sufficiency discipleship and job-training program. If you are a business owner or property manager in the Bellflower area, you should consider helping individuals rebuild lives by contracting Good Soil Industries for your landscape maintenance needs. For more information, call Joel Holwerda at 562-688-5010 or Taylor Seger at 562-502-7716. I also enjoyed brainstorming with Ryan about future faith venture projects. One exciting project has