Getting The Welfare families and low income working for Small Business

What if I worked with Hundreds of Businesses that hire our Welfare to Work and Homeless individuals

Photo of Chris Mann
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Founding Story: Share a story about a key experience or spark that helps the network understand why this project got started or a story about how you became inspired about the potential for this project to succeed.

I Have been in homeless services for 18 years and spend the first 8 years building therapeutic Strength Social Model approach to a program that housed 250 homeless people with 110 kids on a site that was a two year program. The key was getting people to socialize through recreation. I left in2006 in time for the economic bubble to burst and started company working with small businesses. Finding this and coming back into homeless services I created Employment Business relationships that gets over

Which categories describe you? (the answer will not be public)

  • Self-identify race, ethnicity, or origin

If you chose to self-identify your race, ethnicity, or origin, please share here: (the answer will not be public)

White, but my wife and kids are mixed black, Mexican, Hawaiian


Location: Where is your organization headquartered? [State]

  • California

Location: Where is your organization headquartered? [City]

Washington, DC

Location: Where is your project primarily creating impact? [State]

  • California

Location: Where is your project primarily creating impact? [City]


Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Keeping people housed while Rapid Rehousing is trying to eliminate Transitional Living. Getting people back to work after they are stabilized instead of housing them with no income and no skills to deal with negotiating how to get a job, get ready for work or plan when they get work how to best manage. Most have drug and alcohol or mental health issues that are managed as long as they are stable and have a plan.

We are finding women with children getting back into the workforce and able to support their children financially while working for a small company who is invested in the family and the success of the client. The children are valued, given opportunities they didn't have when their mom was not working and finding value in watching their mom or parents become successful employable people coming home everyday from work with a sense of usefulness and showing children the how working will benefit them and how to be responsible for getting up, getting dressed, feeding children, taking them to school, picking them up, being able to provide instead of using foodstamps, waiting for check in the mail,etc.

Is your model focused on any of the following traditionally underserved communities?

  • Low-income communities

Does your model work within any of the following sectors?

  • Childcare
  • Child and Family Services
  • Community Development and Empowerment
  • Criminal Justice

Year Founded


Project Stage

  • Scaling (the solution has passed the previous stages, and the next step will be growing its impact on a regional or global scale)

Example: Walk the network through a specific example of what happens when a person or group engages with your solution.

It is incredibly diverse and simple. We have worked on a system that allows us to be the recruiter for small businesses. We have eliminated words like, welfare and homeless and focused on the needs of the business. We position ourselves to be a valuable resource because we screen, assess, work with the clients and recruit only for clients who fit the job description the company is looking for. We don't get anyone working anywhere or do workshops to interview ect. The biggest change is we reimburse wages for 6months and do 1 year of retention, with staff who have worked in the field for over 10 years and know the population they serve. We hand pick and specify what we are looking for and the county provides clients who fit that category

Impact: What was the impact of your work last year? Please also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

At our 33 acre program where we served over 500 people, 346 people got employed. They were costing the county over $3.5 million in taxes to house, keep on Welfare/SNAP, live in tranisitional living or subsidized housing and now have created over $8million is taxable income, they move into communities that they pay rent, taxes , buy groceries and vehicles and they are getting supportive services for up to a year. They companies are using our program as their staffing agency. One major company, over 7000 employees, have hired over 120 people in the past five years and another small company has hire over 30. We subsidize close to $1 million to small businesses in Sacramento county which has allowed those small business to grow and expand and hire more of our clients. We have one company, former Lt. Col. and his company has hired 8 people and we write him a check for $13,500 per MONTH .

Organization Type

  • nonprofit/NGO/citizen sector

Annual Budget

  • $1mil - $5mil

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is your solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

We have $27 million in Grants through our agency but our Employment Grant is at about $1.5 million and most of that is reimbursement $. Need more funding to create more opportunities for clients who are not Welfare to work to help them get training, funding for DL or clothes, etc. We would like ability for ALL of our clients to have subsidy when they start a company as is less risk for all parties, allows client to train and learn company

Unique Value Proposition: How else is this problem being addressed? Are there other organizations working in the same field, and how does your project differ from these other approaches?

We have been the leader for the past 5 years, have created hiring events, over 250 people are have been employed in ONE DAY. Yes, we are the only agency that has created value for our business owners, built relationships to help companies grow, sustained economic growth, positioned ourselves as the employment leader and created a new paradigm shift for our businesses view of people who are in poverty, on welfare and created relationships to have businesses refer others to our program. Our Cal Works program is 100% business referral and has created opportunities for us to go into shelters

Reflect on the Field and its Future: Stepping outside of your project, what do you see as the most important or promising shifts that can advance children’s wellbeing?

By giving children a hope of work and work ethic. People have given up in raising their children with no access to internet, limited skills and or gaps in employment. We bridge that gap by representing the client in the business community, we explain the gaps in employment, we take the burden of getting the client screened, assessed and referred to one of our qualified companies. The client still has to interview and be able to have the skills necessary to do the job but the support of our retention team alleviates the stress of the start of a new job or client and the hope for the company

Source: How did you hear about the Children’s Wellbeing Challenge? (the answer will not be public)


1 comment

Join the conversation:

Photo of Kaitlyn Allen

Wonderful profile, it has a lot of strength. Your founding story may be your weakest part, my suggestion is to make it less facts about you and more about your organization. Paint a visual of what it is like to be a recipient of the organization. When I think about a founding story, I imagine a visual that tells me what you do. Not from your perspective, but from those who need you. Give merit to what you're doing. This question gives you the ability to set that foundation, the other questions can have the approach you are striving to take.

You answered the problem question in a great way. You set the stage to back up what you are doing. It answers the unspoken question of why this initiative matters. Which i feel is vital. Love the video! Consider adding pictures, it makes your words stronger as well.

Overall, I recommend focusing on creating a stronger profile by:

1) Relooking at your grammar, this is big. Even a few grammar mistakes can reflect a lack of interest. Show you care by being meticulous in word choices and sentence structure. Take that time, I know it will have a huge impact.
2) Try to be a storyteller, think like a reader. What are the thought processes they may go through well reading. Try to answer their unspoken questions.

Well done!