Partnering with others
Supporting job training
Photo: McMurphy's Grill/St. Patrick Center
Innovative programs serve up jobs for the homeless
The old adage “teach a man to fish and you'll feed him for a lifetime” has taken on new meaning for the homeless in Seattle and St. Louis, thanks to two innovative programs that receive support from Boeing's Global Corporate Citizenship organization.
More than twenty years ago, Seattle-based FareStart launched one of the nation's first job training and placement programs for the homeless and disadvantaged. Today, the organization trains more than 300 individuals each year for jobs in food service and provides more than 500,000 nutritious meals to those in need.
FareStart uses a One Boeing Fund grant to help finance its growth plans to launch 75 new programs across the country, building economic self sufficiency and increasing social impact. One Boeing Fund grants are awarded to nonprofit groups that successfully demonstrate innovative ideas that will have a broad impact and provide sustainable solutions for community problems.
“More than 100 organizations have found their way to FareStart over the past three years to ask for guidance and technical assistance, and FareStart has been working with them in an ad hoc fashion,” said Angel Ysaguirre, GCC global community investing specialist. “Recognizing the significant need for a formal network of social enterprises that can learn from each other, this grant award has helped them build capacity and form an organized working group with like-minded organizations including other Boeing grantees.”
“By establishing a collaborative network of like-minded partners, FareStart is leading the charge to increase the national impact of food-service job training for people facing barriers to employment.”
—David Carleton, FareStart's National Director.
“By establishing a collaborative network of like-minded partners, FareStart is leading the charge to increase the national impact of food-service job training for people facing barriers to employment,” explains David Carleton, FareStart's National Director. “Real-life job-skills training changes lives, and this capacity-building grant from Boeing gives us powerful momentum as we launch Catalyst Kitchens, to improve existing programs and replicate this successful program model where it does not yet exist. We are immensely grateful to the employees of Boeing for their support of our work.”
FareStart serves as the most successful and comprehensive example of this food service training model. FareStart operates a full-service restaurant, three cafes, a catering business and a meal contract program that provides nutritious meals to those in need. Together, these generate $2.5 million that is used to fund training and social service programs for men, women and youth facing barriers to employment.
Over the past 15 years, Boeing has made in-kind donations of surplus items and provided equipment grants to help FareStart better serve the Seattle region. Employees also have designated critical support through the Employees Community Fund.
Farestart received the 2011 James Beard Humanitarian Award from the James Beard Foundation which annually recognizes outstanding restaurants and restaurateurs.
Photo: McMurphy's Grill/St. Patrick Center
A few years before FareStart, St. Patrick Center in St. Louis opened McMurphy's Grill, its own full-service restaurant dedicated to training the agency's homeless and mentally ill clients. Funded in part by grants from GCC and the Boeing Employees Community Fund, McMurphy's Grill has helped hundreds of disadvantaged individuals get the skills they need to begin careers in food service and related industries.
McMurphy's Grill is a full-service restaurant as well as St. Patrick's employment program. Its training program lasts for three to six months, during which up to nine clients/employees work regular shifts and receive on-the-job training on the operations of a commercial kitchen.
“Clients must demonstrate that they are serious about improving their lives before they can be admitted into the McMurphy's Grill program,” explained Angela Most, GCC global community investing specialist in St. Louis. “Prospective trainees who have histories of mental illness or substance abuse must first participate in the Shamrock Day Treatment Program, which provides a range of treatment, counseling and recovery support.”
Trainees gain valuable experience in various restaurant functions, including waiting and busing tables, washing dishes and operating common food preparation equipment. Equally important, they learn the unwritten rules of workplace accountability and the conduct required in a structured work environment.
“McMurphy's Grill teaches them the importance of self-motivation and the need to be accountable for their behavior and work performance,” says Nancy Box, senior director of St. Patrick Center employment programs. “They learn not only the importance of being punctual and dressing appropriately, but also how to give and receive respect and how to work as part of a team — things you need to know to hold down a full-time job.”
After training, McMurphy's Grill graduates receive extensive job-search assistance and go on to positions in area restaurants, hotels, hospitals and nursing homes. Of the 53 St. Patrick Center clients who received training as part of this year's program, 28 have already found employment.