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June 2015 | Grants Newsletter

Better Jobs for the Once-Homeless


CASE STUDY: When Mr. Mulumbo (seated) came to Seedco, he worked part time in maintenance. He wanted to become a property manager or superintendent. Through the group’s Career Advancement and Retention Program, he began working full time and was able to join a union that provided him and his family with health benefits. His Seedco case manager helped him figure out what training he needed. He is now finishing his coursework and earning $17 an hour, a personal best.

When a family loses a home, everything is disrupted, from the job commute to getting kids to school. Underlying problems—such as addiction or abuse—often are exacerbated. In New York City, 12,000 families that include more than 24,000 children sleep in shelters every night.

To get people out of the shelter system, Mayor Bill de Blasio created a rent subsidy program called Living in Communities. Homeless families with at least one employed adult must contribute 30 percent of their income toward rent; the City’s Human Resource Administration covers the balance for up to five years.

To make sure these transitions succeed, the City is referring some families to Seedco, a national nonprofit (also known as Structured Employment Economic Development Corporation) that helps those in need. With $170,000 from The Trust, Seedco’s new Self Sufficiency Program plans to help 150 families as they move into Bronx apartments. Each client will receive financial counseling, job training, and other services. Breadwinners who are out of work can get quick job referrals. In addition, clients get personal counseling as well as help checking eligibility for benefits such as Medicaid and earned-income tax credits.

Next Article: LuEsther Mertz Loved Helping People>>

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