Jericho’s second new CityServe initiative – Project CleanStart, which empowers our homeless neighbors in need through a work readiness/training program – is set to roll out this month.
The city-led program, which will be piloted with a small group of specially vetted homeless neighbors, is designed to help participants gain the skills they’ll need to obtain and succeed at jobs in the private sector, with the ultimate goal obtaining housing.
Each participant will work two days per week, a five-hour shift each day, cleaning city streets and doing other outdoor tasks. To be selected for this program, participants must also be engaging in regular work with a case manager and be making strides toward their overall goal of employment and housing. At the completion of each week, participants will receive a gift card.
“We’re thrilled that the City of Danbury has asked Jericho to partner with them in this initiative. We see this as an opportunity to come together for the common good of our homeless neighbors in need,” said Carrie L. Amos, Jericho President. “We have the infrastructure in place to provide the participants – both men and women – with opportunities to develop skills that can be transferred to the employment arena down the road. Program coaches will be on site with the participants teaching and re-enforcing these work readiness skills each day.”
As the pilot program launches on May 23, Jericho Facilities Director Harry Pugner will take on the role of Project Manager, leading the interview process, and working out other details. Other Jericho & ministry partner staffers and key volunteers will serve as the firsts Job Coaches. Danbury city officials will choose the work sites and assist in the participant selection process. Participants will be selected from among the chronic homeless – those who regularly use the city’s shelters and Jericho’s Good Samaritan Center on Maple Avenue.
As the program grows – with the goal of having approximately 50 homeless people involved – Jericho will need many more volunteer to serve as Job Coaches. Those interested in being a part of the transformation process and serving with our homeless neighbors, please contact us at (203) 791-1180 or at www.jerichopartnership.org/volunteer.
Jericho’s other CityServe projects include the ongoing work at the Jericho Spring Street Neighborhood Center and the partnership with South Street Elementary School.