|Organization Name:||JustWork Economic Initiative|
|Project Title:||JustRenos Buildup Project|
|Purpose of Investment:||To expand the capacity of a social enterprise for people unable to find traditional work in Vancouver.|
JustWork’s ultimate mission is to help those who have barriers to employment have work to build a better life. We are asking for $60,000 so we can expand JustRenos. This project builds on our foundation, propelling us further in the direction of sustainability with the goal to have less need to ask for grants in the future. It would give us opportunity to grow the amount of work JustRenos does, therefore, the amount of revenue brought in, ultimately building out our whole sustainability. By hiring one additional manager in JustRenos, we have the capacity to hire 3-5 more barriered employees. This growth benefits all three enterprises and JustWork as a whole.
In 2017, we provided employment to 26 Community Employees: 21 with permanent disability; 25 low income; 96% over the age of 40.
A majority of our employees have permanent barriers to work, including physical disability, mental illness, and addiction. Most who face barriers also struggle with inadequate or insecure housing. These interconnected barriers prevent our employees from accessing and sustaining work opportunities in the traditional workforce even where job readiness programs are available. When people with disabilities do find work, it is often intense, occasional, insecure and high risk, often leading to further stress and injury. Researchers at the York University School of Health Policy found that unemployment often leads to social exclusion, stress, unhealthy coping mechanisms, and poverty. Complicating matters for many of our employees is the lack of affordable housing in Vancouver. Finding safe, secure and affordable housing has become increasingly difficult for those on the margins in Vancouver. Our employees not only gain the tangible benefits associated with extra income, but become part of a community that helps and encourages them as they navigate the challenges of their unique situations.
Quite often the barriers our employees face are complex, and interrelated. 81% have some form of permanent disability (mental or physical), and are recipients of disability assistance. As of October 1, 2017, provincial disability assistance provides $1133.42 in monthly support. Individuals on disability assistance are able to earn up to $12,000 each year on top of this income. Without access to part-time, flexible and supportive work, people with disabilities live substantially below the poverty line.
Each employee comes with a unique story and set of struggles, yet also a set of skills and gifts that fuel our enterprises and enrich our community. Beyond the financial impact, meaningful employment has a tremendous impact on our employees’ personal self-esteem, stability, housing and mental health. This one year ramp up project (January 2019-December 2019) will change the lives of up to five more people, while bringing in more work for all JustRenos employees and stability to JustWork as a whole.
- One additional JustRenos manager established and trained to oversee additional projects as well as barriered employees by January 2019.
- Three to five more barriered employees will be identified and trained to work for JustRenos by April 2019.
- JustRenos will purchase 2 used work vehicles for all Renos projects by February 2019.