Charrette Notes: Employment and Education

South Central Housing Network

Region 10 Plan to End and Prevent Homelessness Charrette

Session #4, Tuesday, April 23

Employment and Education

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Pollock – Women’s advocate at the Rise – speak from that perspective.  We work with a lot of kids a The Rise.  You need to start early because so much success is building school habits starting early.  What they do is provide programs on tutoring – early tutoring known as Monte’s Program.  For adults to be successful in jobs, they need to start early.  Starting with programs at age 18 is too late.  We use to have a summer jobs program here which is important because it builds those habits early – getting up, getting to work on time, going to lunch.  She also wanted to talk about violence at the workplace.  This is important for women who have concerns with domestic violence.  Supervisors can work with the employees to put in processes in place to keep them safe at the workplace.  A lot of MWH women start jobs and then learn after the fact about the loss of benefits.  She would like to see more programs like the self-sufficiency programs like at BHA.  They provide individual development accounts.  It is an incentive which makes you feel not so bad about losing those benefits.  She also would like to see equal pay for equal work.

Conner – works for  SCCAP.  1) Leaving people where they are located; 2) peer-to peer; and 3) a part that is missing what to do when people have jobs.  You can go backwards by the net that people are falling into is trapping – JD Byrider example. 

Stepping stones coach – she has had some conversations with juvenile probation officers about creating a safe place for homework.  Provide a drop in center for youth who want to work on these things.

Plemmons – Salvation Army.  She was encouraged today.  She thinks the Salvation Army is doing all of these points.  On frustration she has is the ABCs, but everyone just wants the As.  We do a quarterly job-fair.  Tomorrow there is a job fair with nine employers, IVY Tech, etc.  Every three months they do this.  Starts at 1 p.m.  Some of the other things – they are working a case management program similar to BHA.  They are working a peer program.  Getting people motivated to do a job training program after unemployee can be difficult.  If you have someone newly employed and they need daycare, they can sometimes provide that service.

Chamber of Commerce – one of the things that they would like to see.  From a business perspective, one of the greatest cost is turnover.  If someone doesn’t last more than a couple of months, it is expensive.  Being able to speak to the ability of how to keep employees.  Turnover is the biggest challenge.  Speak to turnover rates when talking to those businesses.

Elaine Guinn – At New Hope we have a couple of things they talking about.  One is branching out.  Talking about education and our language – the Hope Program – just changing the language can make such a big difference.  It would be great if we could have a program in the schools where we change the language when they are young.  She thinks about when she was a single mom and her husband was in prison and she was on welfare – she applied to citigroup through a program for urban single moms.  She rode the bus to work.  This program is where they seek out urban single moms and train them.  She learned so much from that.  She wouldn’t have received those skills if she hadn’t participated in that program.  It would be really nice if we could have the  business community participate in that way.  When it comes to childcare, but she couldn’t find childcare for infants.  Even later when she had a good job, she couldn’t afford infant childcare.  It isn’t just an issue for people who can’t afford childcare, it is just an issue for everyone.

When it comes to childcare, we need to keep people in the schools.  He sees young women with children and no husband and they can’t find childcare so they are stuck.  This one client that he had, the husband had a mental health issue and she worked at Wal-Mart and the car was being repossessed and she didn’t have a choice she had to work to her job.  Another client who had a car where they owed $168 on it, but it was going to be repossessed because they couldn’t pay for it and they needed transportation to get to work.

St. VincentDe Pauls – how many people in here have a business that they run.  About 10.  People keep saying business and we talked about jobs being very important.  They are not hear to listen.  Are they part of the solution?   Businesses don’t understand.  Their mission is to make money.  They don’t understand that people are a resource.  If employees who are hired aren’t trained right and aren’t committed to helping the business make money, then they are terminated.  He would like to see an organization work with the business community where all of us come together to work on solving these problems.  We have to be more vocal and more organized. 

Ervin – Yesterday and today, we have had people from the Chamber here.  Would like to see a program between Centerstone and the Chamber.  That would be an amazing program to happen.  He has heard some incredible stories over the last two days about people who have overcome issues, he thinks that the Inter-Faith shelter should open their doors early and invite people who have overcome to come meet the people staying at the shelter.

Wants to build on the prevention starts early.  A lot of the discussion has been about working on issues that are already there.  What he would like to see is – he works for a pharm company but when you have a vaccine, that is where the power is.  In the sixth grade Indiana had a program on littering.  It was so effective, he became a litter vigilante.  Bring in people to talk about the use of drugs, etc. to help persuade people not to use drugs.  They need to show these kids what is like to drop out of school, what is like to be homeless, to use drugs to scare these kids about what happens they make those choices.

Stowers – Model she worked with on job readiness.  The vast majority of people she works with are not eligible for those programs.  She worked with a program you spent the first six weeks working on soft skills – such as showing up on time.  The second six weeks, they worked on internships to get specific skills that businesses want.  Because local businesses had helped with the curriculum, the businesses recognized it on resumes and knew those people had the skills they wanted.

Kerri – Soft skills – one of the concerns that she has is the college lending practices.   She thinks this is next big financial crisis of this country.  The other concern is predatory lending.  More needs to be done to teach people about the effects of predatory lending.  Financial literacy.  She thinks people need to know about free tax services and the earned income tax credit.  There isn’t enough quality childcare and it is very expensive and it is only from 9 – 5.  Some communities have implemented extended hours.  There is a demand for the service, but it isn’t being provided.  Pressure needs to be put on the state so people can get assistance with childcare.  She also thinks more women should be encouraged to go into the trades.  It is an empowering thing for women as those jobs tend to be higher paid.

Peterson – New YMCA will have childcare that will align with the various shifts.  Been working closely with United Way about early education and helping prepare these children for kindergarten and preparing them for success in school.  What we have learned from the data is that child that is coming from a family that might be considered at-risk, an additional year of pre-school reduces community costs for that child.  We don’t have enough seats for all of the 4 year olds that need tuition free pre-school.  They have been working with the school system and they have been able to open additional preschools.  We need to get the message out to those families about the benefits of preschool.  Having spent the last 12 years raising funds, the businesses may not be sitting in this room due to the schedule, but the businesses have been very generous with their time and money in this community.

This growing population of individuals who are taking out student loans and using them for living costs.  She sees a lot of that.  The financial stability alliance through United Way is thinking about addressing that in Smart Money this fall.  She will take this back to that group about the growing need.

Thomson –  Need for partnerships throughout the community.  This idea that the businesses aren’t paying attention – at her work in Habitat, she has found the businesses to be very supportive.  They view them as partners.  When they are engaging them in conversation, they view it as a two-way street.  If businesses think there are ways they can make their programs more successful, they work with the families on those ideas.  If we can create some dialog in a safe place where businesses can understand what homeless people are going through and the businesses can share their concerns about how it is affecting their businesses, it would be great.  If we could bring people to together to see how non-profits and businesses can work together to solve some of these issues.  We have seen a lot of success when people who want to work come to Habitat and want to volunteer.  We can train people in retail merchandising, PR skills, etc.  What she knows to be true is that the partnership piece that they do builds confidence in people.  Possible members for the “success cabinet” needs a delegation of significant balance of non-profits and businesses.  There should be some rotation in that group so there could be a input of providers and businesses

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