Social Enterprise at the MCC

Following a rigorous national competition the Millionair Club Charity is thrilled to announce an exciting partnership that promises to deepen the MCC’s impact, generating even more job opportunities in our Seattle community!

Our supportive employment program – Temporary Staffing Solutions— has joined the new portfolio of the venture philanthropy organization REDF, backed by the federal government’s Social Innovation Fund. The Millionair Club Charity will receive multi-year grant funding and business advisory services, contributing to the employment of people who are homeless or face other barriers to becoming  job ready. 

Here’s what our Executive Director, Jim Miller, had to say about this new partnership

“At the MCC we have 95 years of experience getting folks here in Seattle job-ready and getting them out there to work, and we specialize in helping individuals who are homeless, who are struggling. We’ve been an integral part of this Seattle community for almost a century. Now we are a national member of the REDF portfolio. I see it like this: here’s an opportunity to join a community of like-minded organizations that believe in our message. Everyone deserves access to employment. With REDF we’re going to cultivate that vision of giving everyone a chance to work, of changing lives through access to jobs.”

Read on to check out the full press release!

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Christine Rylko, 206-957-3851

Millionair Club Charity Receives Funding from Federal Government’s Social Innovation Fund and the Venture Philanthropy Organization REDF. The Millionair Club Charity’s supportive employment program will be able to employ more people who are homeless and help build the evidence base with new funds.

  • Following a rigorous national competition, the Millionair Club Charity, whose supportive employment program has helped people who are homeless or facing other barriers to employment connect with jobs for over 95 years, has been selected for the new portfolio of California-based venture philanthropy organization REDF, joining a national initiative to scale up the social enterprise field across the U.S.
  • The Millionair Club Charity’s supportive employment program – Temporary Staffing Solutions— is part of a growing field of innovative businesses in the U.S. called social enterprises. These are mission-driven businesses that hire and assist people willing and able to work, but who face multiple barriers to employment; reinvesting their revenue to create more jobs, and providing supportive services to employees that increase their economic mobility and long-term employment.
  • This grant is part of a nationwide initiative supported in part by the federal Social Innovation Fund (SIF), which has to date committed an unprecedented $14.5 million to REDF’s initiative. This is the largest federal investment ever in U.S. employment-focused social enterprises.

Seattle, March 31, 2016—

The Millionair Club Charity’s supportive employment program – Temporary Staffing Solutions— has joined the new portfolio of the venture philanthropy organization REDF, backed by the federal government’s Social Innovation Fund. The Millionair Club Charity will receive multi-year grant funding and business advisory services, contributing to the employment of people who are homeless or face other barriers to becoming “job ready.”

To select its grantees, REDF held a rigorous national competition for social enterprises. Successful grantees, like the MCC, are going to receive funding of at least $100,000 annually for up to five years. More than 200 social enterprises from across 36 states submitted proposals but only 22 were selected. REDF has more than 18 years of experience providing funding and capacity building to employment-focused social enterprises in California. This is the first year the organization is expanding nationally to serve seven new cities, while growing an already strong base of social enterprises in California.

Selected organizations, like the Millionair Club Charity, will employ thousands of people nationally by investing REDF’s resources for business growth. At the same time, REDF will foster deeper collaborations with small, medium and large employers, and philanthropic and government organizations, to catalyze the growth of social enterprises and accelerate the creation of thousands of additional job opportunities.

Since 1921 the Millionair Club Charity has operated according to a single vision:  that everyone deserves access to employment opportunity. Specialists in rebuilding the confidence and job skills of people who are homeless or face other barriers to employment, the MCC offers complete wrap around services to help people become job ready. These services include hot meals, sack lunches, showers, laundry service, work clothes, safety equipment, job licensing, and safety training. Temporary Staffing Solutions – a social enterprise – connects workers with employment opportunities in the greater Seattle area; we supply job ready workers to over local 1,100 employers. The goal for workers is permanent employment and access to affordable housing.  A small portion of the service fee to employers goes back into the program to strengthen and sustain the mission.

Last year, an independent study by Mathematica Policy Research of seven social enterprises funded by REDF showed the impact of these businesses:

  • Every $1 social enterprises spend returns $2.23 in benefits to society.
  • One year after starting work in a social enterprise, the income of people employed increased 268%, income from government benefits dropped from 71% to 24%, and housing stability tripled.
  • Before being hired by the social enterprise, 25% of participants had never had a job and 85% did not have stable housing the year prior; 70% had been convicted of a crime.
  • Six months after transitioning out of social enterprise employment, two-thirds were still gainfully employed.

“The Social Innovation Fund provides new pathways for people who have faced significant barriers to employment, said Damian Thorman, Director of the Social Innovation Fund. “We are excited this award to the Millionair Club Charity’s Temporary Staffing Solutions, a subgrantee of REDF, will transform people’s lives by creating jobs using social enterprise solutions with funding from us.”

“At the MCC we have 95 years of experience getting folks here in Seattle job-ready and getting them out there to work,” points out MCC Executive Director Jim Miller. “And we specialize in helping individuals who are homeless, who are struggling. We’ve been an integral part of this Seattle community for almost a century. Now we are a national member of the REDF portfolio. I see it like this: here’s an opportunity to join a community of like-minded organizations that believe in our message. Everyone deserves access to employment. With REDF we’re going to cultivate that vision of giving everyone a chance to work, of changing lives through access to jobs.”

“REDF is investing in social enterprise growth because we believe right now is the game-changing moment when we can and must open up new opportunities to people who want to work and just need the chance to do so,” said REDF President Carla Javits. “We aim to catalyze the business community, philanthropy, government and nonprofits to work together to create job opportunities and hire people who need them, while developing an even more rigorous evidence base so that we can all do more of ‘what works best’ while developing a vibrant ecosystem that will have long lasting impact. We are grateful to the Congress and the Administration for supporting the Social Innovation Fund, to private donors and foundations that are stepping up to match this support, to the nonprofits that are taking the risk to create new business models, and most of all to the courageous men and women who are overcoming the odds, going to work and transforming their lives.”

Scott’s Story

The Millionair Club Charity has helped so many of Seattle’s unsheltered and unemployed turn their lives around through access to employment. We are confident that the support of SIF and REDF will only deepen our impact in Seattle and the surrounding area. With the help of SIF and REDF we can help more Individuals like Scott, a young man who utilized the MCC to turn his life around. Scott was living on the street when he discovered the Millionair Club Charity. With the help of our Temporary Staffing Solutions and our supportive services, Scott was able to get back on his feet and fill his life with purpose and satisfaction.

Scott became homeless after his dad fell into a deep depression and lost his job. For five years they wandered from state to state, agency to agency, wanting to work, but in need of help to become job ready. For Scott, the pathway to permanent employment began at the Millionair Club Charity, with a shower, laundry, and a place to store his belongings when he went on job interviews.  After the MCC paid for Scott to get a Food Worker Card, he started working immediately at the Century Link stadium concessions during professional sporting events.

Building on the food industry skills he was practicing at the Century Link Stadium concessions, Scott’s progress towards his goal was swift: with the Millionair Club Charity’s help, he achieved a permanent job within two weeks at a prestigious Seattle restaurant and was placed in the MCC’s low-income housing.

There are so many more men and women, just like Scott, who want to work but lack the resources to connect with employment opportunities. The MCC is proud to use the funding provided by REDF and SIF to help rebuild the lives of Seattle’s homeless and unemployed.

 

ABOUT US

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Since 1921 the Millionair Club Charity has operated according to a single vision:  that everyone deserves access to employment opportunity. Specialists in rebuilding the confidence and job skills of people who are homeless or face other barriers to employment, the MCC offers complete wrap around services to help people become job ready. These services include hot meals, sack lunches, showers, laundry service, work clothes, safety equipment, job licensing, and safety training. Temporary Staffing Solutions – a social enterprise – connects workers with employment opportunities in the greater Seattle area; we supply job ready workers to over local 1,100 employers. The goal for our workers is permanent employment and access to affordable housing. A small portion of the service fee to employers goes back into the program to strengthen and sustain the mission.

 

LEARN MORE: SIF & REDF

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The Social Innovation Fund is a program of the Corporation for National and Community Service, a federal agency that engages more than 5 million Americans in service through its AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, Social Innovation Fund, and Volunteer Generation Fund programs, and leads the President’s national call to service initiative, United We Serve.

The Social Innovation Fund (SIF) is a powerful approach to transforming lives and communities, an approach that positions the federal government to be a catalyst for impact – mobilizing private

resources to find and grow community solutions with evidence of results. As part of the SIF program, REDF must match the federal funds dollar-for-dollar and again by the organizations they select to receive grants. To date, REDF has received Social Innovation Fund matching investments from private funders including Bank of America, the Kresge, Weingart, Annie E. Casey, Woodcock, California Wellness, F.B. Heron, Kellogg, San Francisco and California Community Foundations, The California Endowment, JP Morgan Chase, and many other foundations and individual donors.

 

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REDF creates jobs and employment opportunities for people facing the greatest barriers to work – like young people who are disconnected from school or work, people who’ve been homeless or in prison, and people with mental health disabilities. Founded in 1997 by George R. Roberts (KKR), REDF provides funding and business expertise to mission-driven organizations to launch and grow social enterprises, which are businesses with a “double bottom line” that make money in order to employ people with multiple barriers to employment. REDF has helped over 10,000 people in California get jobs and find hope. Now REDF is taking best practices learned from 18 years of experience to grow their impact nationally and help thousands more people work, advance, and create a more stable future. For more information, visit http://redf.org/. To learn more about REDF’s portfolio organizations visit http://redf.org/what-we-do/invest/.

REDF’s National Expansion and Portfolio Announcement

Jobs. Growth. Impact. Hope.

An exciting event in the city of Seattle! On Thursday March 31, 2016, REDF will celebrate the start of a multi-year investment in Seattle area social enterprises that make money and change lives by employing people who are overcoming barriers to work!

Join REDF and co-hosts:

David Wertheimer, Deputy Director Pacific Northwest Initiative, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Marlena Sessions, Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County; King County Department of Community and Human Services; United Way of King county.

When: Thursday March 31, 2016 (4:00 PM to 6:00 PM)

Where: The Pacific Tower, 8th Floor, 1200 12th Ave South, Seattle, WA 98144

RSVP: Mette Andersen, Mandersen@redf.org

 

 

 

 

New Project Increases Outreach to Connect Homeless People to Jobs

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United Way of King County, City of Seattle, Millionair Club Charity and Downtown Seattle Association launch Jobs Connect employment project for homeless individuals

 Public private partnership aims to stabilize the lives of homeless individuals in downtown Seattle by rapidly connecting them to unfilled jobs.

SEATTLE (March 23, 2016) –  United Way of King County CEO Jon Fine, joined by Mayor Ed Murray and representatives from the Millionair Club Charity and the Downtown Seattle Association (DSA)  today launched Jobs Connect, a program which connects people living on the streets in downtown Seattle to work.

“We have people on the street who want to work, jobs going unfulfilled and many generous residents who want to help,” said Jon Fine of United Way of King County.  “Jobs Connect is an effective solution, with the potential to create an upward spiral in someone’s life that can make a real impact. “

With the homelessness state of emergency declared in our region, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray with King County Executive Dow Constantine committed new resources to help meet the immediate needs of people experiencing homelessness with additional outreach, services and shelter.

“As a community we have lifted thousands of people off of the street and prevented tens of thousands more from becoming homeless,” said Fine. “But homelessness is complex and pervasive and this crisis calls for new and innovative ways to get people back on their feet.”

While no single approach can meet needs of all the people living outside, complementary strategies can have a significant impact in moving people from homelessness to stability. Successfully working and being paid for your labor can have an extremely positive effect on a person, particularly in contrast to the isolating experience of life on the streets.

“We must shift the focus to longer-term solutions to homelessness, more than mats on the floor,” said Mayor Ed Murray. “We must talk about opportunity and hope for the future.   I want to thank all the private employers who are making these job opportunities available.  You are giving a precious gift – a brighter tomorrow.”

Economic conditions in our region make this an ideal time to launch the program, as demand for short-term employees is not currently being met. The Millionair Club currently leaves requests for employment unfilled during peak seasons.

Utilizing a mobile strategy, Millionair Club Charity outreach workers are circulating through downtown on foot and in Jobs Connect vans, focused on engaging and enrolling visible individuals.

Supportive services and assistance are provided to eliminate the common barriers that prevent many homeless people from working such as transportation, access to certification, storage of personal items and hygiene facilities.  The connection is rapid, with an assessment and services being delivered on day one, and on-the-job paid training beginning at $12 per hour on the second day.

“People who are living unsheltered find it hard to believe that they’re employable,” points out Millionair Club Charity Executive Director, Jim Miller.  “Their clothes are dirty; they’re cold, hungry, and have a backpack they have to carry around at all times with all their possessions.  Jobs Connect gives us the power to take our message to them where they’re living, bring them back to the Millionair Club Charity, and give them the support they need to be job ready.  It’s an amazingly empowering message for people at their lowest ebb of confidence – and one that will hopefully be the start to getting them into a job and housing.”

At launch, The Metropolitan Improvement District (MID), managed by the Downtown Seattle Association, is the anchor employer for Jobs Connect, offering work with the DSA/MID Clean Team. The clean team patrols the streets of downtown, picking up trash, removing graffiti and pressure-washing sidewalks, among other tasks. The MID identifies how many workers are needed the following day and fills those jobs with Jobs Connect participants.

“The Jobs Connect program allows our DSA/MID Clean Team to cover more ground and keep downtown clean, but there’s also a larger need that’s being met,” said DSA President & CEO Jon Scholes. “This program helps provide a path toward housing and stability to get people on a track that will improve their lives. We’re thrilled to be an anchor employer and to partner with these organizations to address homelessness in our city. The scope of the challenge we face around homelessness requires that we collaborate on new approaches.”

As the program grows to scale, additional downtown employers will be identified who employ workers on an ‘as need basis’ as well as additional employment specialists, outreach workers and Jobs Connect vans.

As the program grows to scale, Jobs Connect is seeking additional anchor employers with ‘as needed’ positions to be filled.

Start-up costs for Jobs Connect have already been raised with an initial investment of $92,000 from the City of Seattle, and an additional $85,800 raised from private philanthropy through United Way of King County. United Way plans to raise an additional $248,300 by July 1, 2016 to significantly expand the program.

Expected first year client contact will number 3,000 individuals with a take up rate of 40 percent.

To learn more about the Jobs Connect program visit www.uwkc.org/ending-homelessness/jobs-connect

Johanson Tells All!

Late breaking news, just in time for tomorrow’s birthday festivities: our founder, Martin Johanson tells the story of the Millionair Club name in his own words! We found something fascinating in the archives of the Seattle Daily Times. The times ran a story commemorating the almost 60th birthday of the Millionair Club Charity (that was back in 1980). Johanson was 92 at the time but he still had a lot to say! Read all about it right here:

“…we decided on the millionair club. But there was a catch to it. The minute you say Millionaire, you think of a guy with a million bucks. It means riches. That would be misleading. So we suggested we lop the ‘e’ off. Then we had to get a new definition for millionair without the ‘e.’ We gave this definition: a ‘millionair’ is a person with a happy heart, happy because he can help or happy because he can be helped.” -The Seattle Times, October 04, 1980.

Exhibit A: Just a few of our modern day millionairs!

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Exhibit B: From our very own MCC archives (Dated 4/05/1921)

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Full Citation

The Seattle Times, October 04, 1980: 8, accessed March 22, 2016, http://infoweb.newsbank.com/resources/doc/nb/image/v2:127D718D1E33F961@EANX-12ED43F531BB8535@2444517-12ECD4D6F6FC7ABB@7?p=AMNEWS.

 

What’s in a name?

Have you ever wondered why we drop the “e” in Millionair? This unique spelling dates back to the early days of the Millionair Club Charity. Read on to discover the reasoning behind this unconventional name.

The story goes that our founder, Martin Johanson, named his organization  “The Millionair Club Charity” because he believed that helping others could make anyone feel like a million bucks. This was a matter of moral (not material) wealth. Johanson got rid of the “e” because he did not want anyone thinking that his organization was snooty or elitist. This was a different sort of “club,” a place where hard work and charitable service would be valued over social status and material wealth. Everyone was welcome!

That’s the story, but does it stand up to investigation? We found this newspaper ad in our archives. It was published in the Seattle Star on April 5, 1921. (That’s right, almost 95 years ago!) In the ad Johanson has something to say about the name “Millionair.”

Historian’s hint: look no further than the first paragraph.

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Want more Millionair history? Check out this online article and find out what Johanson almost called his “Millionair Club.”

 

Swedish Meatballs!

This Wednesday, the Millionair Club Charity will celebrate its 95th birthday with a heritage meal in the heart of Belltown! 

It was a blustery Seattle morning when Millionair Club founder Martin Johanson caught a glimpse of the Belltown breadline from his 4th story window. Seeing the slumped shoulders of these hungry men and women, Johanson was inspired to offer more than just a handout to Seattle’s needy. “THERE MUST BE A BETTER WAY,” he concluded. And with that, the Millionair Club Charity was born. Since 1921, the MCC has remained a place where hot meals coexist with opportunities for employment.

Johanson understood the value of charity, but as the son of hard-working Swedish immigrants, he believed equally in the transformative power of a job well done. This Wednesday, in honor of Johanson and in collaboration with The Swedish Club, we will be serving Swedish meatballs to all those seeking a hot and nutritious meal! 

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Seattle Jobs: 95 Years of Success

A Seattle original since 1921, the Millionair Club Charity will celebrate its 95th birthday next Wednesday, March 23. That’s right folks, the Millionair Club Charity is turning 95! Check out this timeline to see how our birth year stacks up next to these Seattle landmarks…

PHOTO # 1 - Workers at Pike Place Market

1903 Pike Place Market

1906 Ballard Locks

1921 The Millionair Club Charity!

1932 Aurora Bridge

1954 Georgetown Hat ‘n’ Boots

1962 Space Needle

1971 Starbucks

1991 The Fremont Troll

2000 Experience Music Project

2012  Seattle Great Wheel

 

No Crabbing About This Lunch

NO CRABBING ABOUT THIS LUNCH  Instead, the Millionair Club Charity’s clients were all smiles to be served golden and tender crab-stuffed Pollock, Ivar’s clam chowder, and Caesar salad, all sponsored for the 14th year by the At-Sea Processors Association.  Melinda Madsen Schmitt led a group from the APA, including new volunteers from  Glacier Fish Company, to serve the special meal.

At-sea Processors is a local office of the international At-sea Processors Association (APA), whose member companies have donated 12 million meals since the inception of the Community Catch program in 2000. The Alaska Pollock fishery is the United State’s largest fishery. Recognized internationally as one of the world’s best managed fisheries, Alaska Pollock landings account for about 30% of all seafood landed annually in the U.S.

Alaska Pollock is a high–‐quality whitefish used extensively in quick–‐serve and casual restaurants, consumer ready meals, frozen breaded products and Surimi seafood products. APA represents six companies that operate catcher/processor vessels in the Alaska Pollock fishery. You can learn more about APA and its Community Catch program at http://www.atsea.org/community_catch.php.

February’s Super Successes

This month we have placed seven workers in permanent positions! Congratulations to Dylan, Felicia, Gershon, Jose, Joseph, Skylar, and Tory! These workers have shown initiative by proving themselves in temporary positions, and, through their hard work, were offered permanent jobs. They’ve met the goal we hope to reach with all of our workers.

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We’d also like to thank the following organizations for being our top temporary worker employers in February:

 

Delaware North Sportservice hired 180 of our workers for Century Link sports events. http://www.delawarenorth.com/industries/sports

 

Compass Group hired 36 of our workers for culinary positions. http://www.compass-group.com/

 

Citywide Painting, Inc hired 34 of our workers for painting and construction jobs. http://www.citywidepainting-dec.com/

 

LIHI hired 15 of our workers for apartment and housing maintenance. http://lihi.org/

 

Tom Douglas hired 10 of our workers in food service positions. http://tomdouglas.com

 

We’re grateful for the support we are receiving from our local community- we wouldn’t be able to provide jobs for our workers without it!

Smart Ways to Reduce Taxes and Establish Your Legacy

Not everyone knows that there are many methods beyond wills to leave gifts for the people and causes you care about.

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You can find out more at a free seminar on Monday, April 25.  The 90-minute talk will be led by Jim Carney, who is chair of the Seattle Children’s Hospital Legacy Advisor Council and Board member of Washington Planned Giving Council and Leave10. Jim is an expert in helping people create strategies to educate and strengthen their family, while supporting the causes they care about.

Jim will tell you about tools and techniques that can reduce your income tax, and minimize gift tax, including retirement accounts, life insurance, property and bank accounts.

Choose from either of the two locations below, and RSVP by April 15th to Alexandra at 206-957-3843 or email Alexandrac@millionairclub.org

Estate Planning Seminar:  Beyond Your Will

Smart Ways for you to make Gifts to the People and Causes you Care About

Monday, April 25

Seattle Public Library, Queen Anne Branch, 1:30 pm to 3:00 pm
400 West Garfield Street, Seattle

OR

Bellevue Public Library, 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm
1111  110th Avenue NE, Bellevue

Light refreshments will be served.  Space is limited so reserve early!

Protecting Workers at Highest Risk

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FACT: Did you know in 2015, the MCC connected 758 workers with 11,295 temporary job assignments fulfilling the needs of over 1,100 employers in the greater Seattle area?

Not everyone knows that temporary workers are at higher risk for workplace injuries. In fact, moving between a variety of jobs and constantly orienting themselves to new sites is a constant challenge to temporary workers’ safety.

That’s why we’re so happy to announce that MCC Safety Representative Tracey will be holding an OSHA – 10 hour certification class on March 28 and 29. Workers who take this intensive 10-hour training become certified in recognition, avoidance, abatement, and prevention of safety and health hazards in workplaces.  The program also provides information regarding workers’ rights and employer responsibilities.  This intensive OSHA-10  training is in addition to a required safety orientation received by all workers.

“We know that temporary workers are at higher risk for workplace injuries,” points out Tracey. “Here at the Millionair Club Charity, we take our responsibility very seriously to ensure our employees have a safe and healthy work environment.  The OSHA-10 General Industry Training will give our employees more tools to be successful AND safe at each job-site.”

You can hire a worker today by calling 206-728-5627 or online at millionairclub.org.