Interfaith Works’ Vocational Services Program (VSP) provides tailored support for low-income and/or homeless individuals through job readiness programs, employment assistance, and support after employment. The program helps our neighbors move forward to achieve the stability, dignity, and independence that employment can bring.
In FY20, IW’s VSP helped 147 individuals find employment – a 78% placement rate. These placements generated approximately $3 million in income for our clients.
These are great numbers. But there is much more to the story. Many of clients have complex challenges that are not easily addressed. These include limited English proficiency, behavioral health issues, limited or no access to reliable transportation, lack of child care, and involvement with law enforcement. Some clients have recently experienced or are still experiencing homelessness.
To ensure our clients’ success, the IW team provides support that goes far beyond practicing interviews and helping create and tune up resumes. Our bilingual staff members meet individual clients where they are to help them untangle their issues and remove stumbling blocks so our clients can find, gain, and maintain a place in the workforce. This could mean driving a client to a job interview, purchasing a bus pass so a client can get to work, or helping a client who was evicted, lost her identification in the process, and needs to acquire a passport. Our staff members have done all of these things and more. It is complex, difficult work.
That is why we so deeply appreciate the support and commitment of the philanthropic community in helping sustain and grow VSP, including Adventist HealthCare Community Partnership Fund. Thank you!
Kokouvi is among those who have worked hard to achieve success with the help of IW’s Vocational Services Program. Learn about him here.