Rick has worked for St. Francis Center Employment Services as a case manager/employment specialist for five years. He provides employment services and housing assistance to people experiencing homelessness, including those at Denver Rescue Mission.
What are some of the things your organization does specifically in working with those experiencing homelessness?
The main thing we do is help find purposeful, above minimum wage employment opportunities for people and make sure they have the tools to be successful in employment. We provide things like work clothes and tools or transportation assistance. We also help people navigate the housing process by working with a variety of landlords in the community.
What does the partnership look like between St. Francis Center and the Mission?
Our strengths at St. Francis Center are different than the strengths at the Mission, but by bringing those together, we provide something bigger. Our work with the Mission looks different depending on the program; some already do career readiness while others need that support. We are very familiar with the different programs available in the community. So, we really focus on connecting people to certifications, career pathways, apprenticeships, jobs that are above minimum wage, and different training programs.
What does it mean to you to see how this partnership is benefiting the people we serve?
When I see that happening, I’m like, ‘Wow, this is really working.’ It’s a team effort and having the mindset that it’s not about us is what makes the partnership work. We revisit things all the time too—what is working and what’s not. There is a lot of planning and strategy that goes into this. It’s not easy work but it’s exciting because we just keep making it better. It’s possible to get people out of homelessness and we do it—the outcomes are the proof.
This post is part of January’s Changing Lives Newsletter. This month, we’re sharing about how the Mission helps guests navigate the challenges of getting out of homelessness in: Hope Starts Together.