The MCC Vision Clinic

 

Keith- Vision Clinic (2)

Last fall, Keith found himself living in a Seattle shelter, struggling to get by.

He visited the Millionair Club Charity’s Vision Clinic to get a pair of free prescription eyeglasses. Keith was so happy when his glasses came in the mail a couple of weeks later, and he wanted to pay it forward; for the past three months Keith has been spreading the word about the MCC Vision Clinic! Every week he brings in a couple of friends to get glasses of their own!

Keith has such a generous heart and he does a lot to lift up others who are experiencing homelessness. Keith brings small donations to the MCC, like socks, and every week he helps distribute lunches, hygiene kits and shoes at the Westlake Shopping Center. When it comes to the Vision Clinic, Keith has helped about thirty individuals get the eyeglasses that they desperately needed. Why does he do it, especially when he has his own hardships to worry about? Keith says that in the past, others have helped him and he wants to spread that kindness. We love seeing Keith each week!

Deanna Vision (2)

Deanna has been a volunteer in the MCC computer lab for the past six months. Deanna is near-sighted, so she has no problem working with computers to help others with resumes, applications, and food handlers’ permits, but Deanna didn’t realize how bad her distance-vision had become. When she put on her new prescription glasses, Deanna started crying. “I was so happy that I could see the trees and mountains on the other side of the Puget Sound.” Thank you Deanna for your help in the computer lab! We are so glad that you could benefit from the MCC’s free and subsidized vision services.

Did you know: the Millionair Club Charity is one of the ONLY nonprofits in Seattle offering FREE, onsite eye screenings and eye glasses to homeless and low income individuals. The Clinic serves over 400 individuals every year.

 

 

Call on Congress to Support Programs that Work

The Millionair Club Charity is a proud subgrantee of the Social Innovation Fund (SIF).  On Wednesday, July 12, Congress will vote on funding for SIF. Read more below, and think about what YOU would tell your Senator or Representative about funding SIF.

By Carla Javits

As the daughter of long-time U.S. Sen. Jacob Javits, I feel frustrated that the political climate is stymied in advancing proven solutions to our country’s biggest problems.  When confronting my father about things that did not reflect our nation’s founding values, he would challenge me with, “What can you do to improve the situation?”  He helped me understand that the freedom to celebrate what’s right comes with the responsibility to change what’s wrong.  A catalyst for making change today is the Social Innovation Fund (SIF).

Experiencing homelessness, neighborhood violence, incarceration or addiction. These are situations that prevent people from getting a job. I often meet mothers, fathers, sons and daughters who share that they or a family member have struggled with these challenges. Each person is eager to understand how we are creating jobs opportunities for people who otherwise are left out of the labor force. This is the work of the social enterprises we advise and fund across the U.S.—businesses with a mission to provide jobs and training to people who are overcoming great disadvantage. These are people who want to work but need a transitional pathway to succeed in sustainable employment.

Independent research proves that people who work in a social enterprise business transform their lives. They are more likely to remain employed one year later; they earn more money, they are able to stabilize their housing and they are less dependent on government benefits. Employment focused social enterprise is an efficient, cost-effective, proven strategy that produces savings to society—generating 123% return for every dollar spent—about four times better than the stock market on average. And better yet, the social enterprise approach is sustainable because most of the revenue come from the business earnings rather than public or philanthropic grants.

Michael’s story says it all. At age 15, Michael was incarcerated for being involved in a gang-related murder.  After 17 years in prison, he was paroled, with little hope of finding a job. He could have easily ended up right back inside, like about 70% of those who exit prison in California.  But Michael walked through the doors of the Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO) and broke the cycle of re-incarceration. With CEO, Michael received training and support while working in a wage-paying job. Today, Michael is “a clinical case manager, counseling young people who have been involved in the criminal justice system. He’s working toward his college degree, and is an advocate in the anti-recidivism movement.

A key factor in the growth of social enterprise is the U.S. government’s little known but far-reaching Social Innovation Fund (SIF). The SIF is a highly leveraged billion dollar public-private program that identifies evidence-based programs around the country, evaluates their results and scalability, while requiring a 2 to 1 private matching support that has leveraged hundreds of millions of dollars in philanthropic resources.

Beginning in 2010, REDF’s SIF grant generated the start-up and growth capital to catalyze social enterprise expansion across the U.S. By leveraging twice as much in private revenue than government funding, REDF generated more than 10,000 job opportunities for people ready to work from 2010-2015. Over the next five years, with SIF funding, we will add 50,000 more job opportunities for people who face formidable barriers to employment across the U.S.  With this impact and documented evidence, the House is planning to include funding for SIF in the 2017 Appropriations Bill, although the Senate zeroed it out.  The two chambers will negotiate a final decision on the Appropriation.

Everyone in the U.S., no matter their party affiliation, believes in the power of work and the importance of including as many people as possible in the economy.  When we have evidence of results, the case is even more powerful.

I challenge the members of Congress to commit a small but powerful act of bipartisanship and support the Social Innovation Fund so that our fellow Americans who are highly motivated to work have the chance to contribute and become proud taxpayers.

We must join forces at those rare moments when we identify solutions that embody the evidence-based policymaking and pay-for-performance approaches already being championed across bipartisan divides by Speaker Paul Ryan(R-Utah).

The SIF is a low-cost approach to transforming lives and communities.  As a small program within a huge federal budget—the SIF is demonstrating what really works. Reflecting back on the critical question—“what can we do to improve the situation?” — I have thousands of stories of people going to work, and lives transformed. I urge Congress to appropriate the necessary resources so that the Social Innovation Fund can continue “finding what works, and making it work for more people.”

Dream Donation! 35 Mattresses.

We’re pinching ourselves! This morning, the Dream Bed program (Sleep Train) delivered 35 brand new mattresses to the Millionair Club Charity’s Kasota Apartments in Belltown Seattle.

These mattresses will help MCC workers living at the Kasota Apartments sleep peacefully and safely. With the comfort of these mattresses, and the other benefits of the Kasota apartments, our workers will wake up restored and ready to achieve their employment goals.

Affordable housing options for low-income workers are extremely scarce in Seattle.* Currently, 59% of the Millionair Club Charity’s work force are homeless or lack access to stable housing. Kasota is one answer to this crisis. This apartment building is a transitional housing option for low-income and homeless individuals who are on a path to long-term employment success.

Kasota’s rooms are single occupancy spaces that can be rented for $500 a month by members of the MCC’s employment program. Each room includes furniture donated by Cornish College of the Arts: a bed, dresser, and small kitchenette with a microwave, sink and mini-refrigerator. Bathrooms and showers are shared dormitory-style. Meals are supplied by the Millionair Club Charity kitchen.

Thank you Dream Bed, for your donation of 35 mattresses to the MCC’s Kasota Apartment. Together we change lives, one job (and one mattress) at a time.

 

*Waiting lists for existing low-income housing are 18 months to 2 years; average one bedroom in Seattle costs $1,412 a month (Seattle Office of Housing); Seattle rent has shot up faster in the past 3 years than any other major American city (The Seattle Times).

Sing Your Support!

Lip Sync For a Cause

Next weekend the Millionair Club Charity will be the beneficiary of a pop-tastic, Lip Sync Battle event. You can help Seattle’s homeless and underserved access life changing jobs when you join the crowd at the Rec Room Bar and Grill (Lynwood) on July 9th. All you have to do is buckle up for this wild, lip sync ride! The Rec Room is located at 14920 WA-99 #130 Lynwood, WA 98087. There will be a $10.00 cover, which includes one free drink. Once again, proceeds go to the Millionair Club Charity. Feeling Brave? Check out the flyer below and see how you and/or a group of friends can lip sync for a chance to win the “Belt of Champions” and a cash prize!

P.S. Huge thanks to Randy (MCC Payroll wiz) for suggesting the Millionair Club Charity as an awesome cause for this event!

The Rock Lip Syncs “Shake it Off’

Crucial Info Below!

Charity Event Millionair Club 7-9-16 (2)

Rudy’s Story #seaHomeless

#seaHomeless

Today, Seattle will speak out on an inhumane reality and strategize around solutions. The conversation is taking place NOW on social media. Check out the MCC’s twitter and get involved with the conversation. Here.

Dignity for all! #seaHomeless promises to lift a diversity of voices and boost a variety of solutions. The Millionair Club is a part of this conversation and we are offering our unique “jobs first” approach.

Rudy’s Story

Rudy Good

Life in a Seattle homeless shelter had brought Rudy to a crisis point. At age 40, Rudy was illiterate. He found a program to get his G.E.D., but after five months of shelter life he was getting sick. “As strong as I thought I was, I would wake up with headaches and lay down to sleep with headaches. I just couldn’t get any rest, so my hands were always shaking, and I would just doze off wherever I was.”

That’s when Rudy turned to the Millionair Club Charity for help. “I was afraid because of my education, no one would help me, but when I got to the MCC you guys were wonderful.” Within one week Rudy had been placed in a night job that accommodated his school schedule, and he was living in the MCC’s transitional housing at the Kasota apartments- which meant a room of his own to call home.

“Now I can breathe,” says Rudy. “I’m sleeping. Once I get my G.E.D., I would like to get into computers. I if could tell the whole world, I would tell them to come to the Millionair Club, it helped me, and I’m sure it could help others.”

About the Millionair Club Charity & the “Jobs First” Approach

The MCC specializes in offering wrap-around services that help people like Rudy, who are experiencing homelessness and other barriers to employment, become job-ready. These wrap-around services include meals, transitional housing, a shower and laundry center, job training, occupational licensing, work clothing, safety equipment, and a temporary staffing agency that places people in jobs. The ultimate goal is to get these individuals placed in permanent jobs. Congratulations Rudy, we are in awe of your drive and determination.

Support the MCC solution. Learn more about the mission or make a donation.

SHOWERS OF GENEROSITY

THERE WAS A SHOWER OF GENEROSITY TODAY, when a $10,000 check was presented by Carol Nelson, Seattle Market President for KeyBank, to MCC Executive Director Jim Miller in the MCC’s new Shower and Laundry Center. 

The check was the second payment on a $20,000 grant awarded to the MCC to pay for an electrical upgrade of the Millionair Club Charity’s Belltown headquarters.  The increased electrical capacity enabled the MCC to QUINTUPLE the amount of washers and dryers we can utilize for washing our workers’ clothes so that they can be ready for work.

We are thankful for the partnership of KeyBank with our mission.  Key Bank employees are loyal volunteers at the MCC – cleaning our transitional housing units at the Kasota Apartments just last spring.

 Did you know that laundry is our worker’s #1 out-of-pocket expense?