2016 Letter from the Executive Director, James Miller

 

Jim Coffee

January 26, 2016

There is definite hope for people like you, who care about the solution to homelessness in our community. As we reflect on the past 94 years of providing jobs and support services to men and women in this community, we have never seen this level of growth and success.

Thanks to donors and supporters in 2015, there was almost DOUBLE growth in the success of our employment program over 2014:

  • Workers enrolled in the program grew from 425 to 758
  • Job Assignments increased from 5,900 to 11,295
  • Permanent Job Placements multiplied from 75 to 139

I believe two factors were major contributors for this success:

  • A network of over 1,100 employers is now utilizing the temporary staffing services of our supportive employment program
  • The lease of our own affordable housing apartment building in downtown Seattle – the Kasota Apartments — gives workers speedy access to shelter, so they can concentrate on their search for work

You will also be happy to know that there is a double benefit for taxpayers in these numbers:  not only are under-privileged men and women rebuilding their lives, taxpayers save between about $40,000 per each person that is taken off the streets (The U.S. Dept. of Housing & Urban Development).  That means Millionair Club Charity supporters saved community taxpayers around $ 5.6 million dollars.

Thank you again for being part of the solution to homelessness and unemployment in our community.  In 2016 I hope to report that construction of a new shower and laundry facility in our building will TRIPLE the capacity to help people become job ready.

Sincerely,

James Miller

p.s. – 2016 marks our 95th anniversary.  Look for an invitation to celebrate your contributions to almost a century of success at Chef Showcase and the Employment Excellence Awards next fall.


The Millionair Club Charity’s Kasota Apartments:

Affordable Housing that Strengthens Chance for Job Success

 

A Room of his Own after Five Years of Homelessness

Scott AAfter his dad lost his job and fell into a depression, Scott and his dad became homeless.  They wandered for five years, state to state, finding agencies who would give them financial assistance, but nothing ever permanently changed their condition, until they came to Seattle and visited the Millionair Club Charity. We could see Scott was very employable, and were able to get him a work interview immediately.  But Scott needed a place to sleep, shower, and wash his clothes to be ready for work on an everyday basis.  That’s when we moved Scott to the Kasota Apartments — and his career took off.  Not only did Scott achieve a permanent job at a local restaurant, he was promoted several times and earned enough money to move out into a place of his own.  “I don’t know if there are MCC programs in other states,” says Scott, “but there should be!”

 

A Chance to Take Off “Like a Rocket”

Arthur VThe untimely death of his beloved sister sent Arthur into a tail spin and he ended up on the street. For two years he tried to get back on his feet using different aid programs but he experienced a revolving door of delays and setbacks. “It was like being in a spinner, mixed around and around, with no results…I was trying to get housing with this one program. For three months I was pestering the guy. Finally he sat me down and said, listen, ‘You’re caught up in the system, and you have to find a way out of this system before you can get back into society.”

Arthur found a way out when he heard about the Millionair Club. “All I heard was the word ‘work.’ And I knew the Millionair Club was for me. I love to work, always have. The Millionair Club got me into their Kasota apartment building. When I got those keys, I was like, man is this really happening? When you’ve been homeless and then you have a place to stay, it’s just a stellar moment. Now, when I go to bed at night and I hear that wind, and it’s like, thank you lord, that I’m inside.”  With the MCC’s help, Arthur started work part time at Century Link stadium, and quickly offered a full time job as a cook.  “And that’s a skill, it’s not just a job,” points out Arthur proudly. “Now I can find kitchen work anywhere in this city.”

“The other programs were just stagnant,” continues Arthur. “That’s the thing about the Millionair Club, they go out of their way for you, they make it happen. And when you give me a chance, I just take off like a rocket.”

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