“Kindness Begets Kindness” – Coming Together for Those in Need

If you’ve walked through downtown Seattle recently, or actually any neighboring city or suburb, you’ve probably passed by someone in need and thought, “How can I help? How can I make a difference?”

2016’s Employee of the Year, Arthur Valenzuela. When given the chance, Arthur’s career trajectory “took off like a rocket.”

While the issues of homelessness and poverty are complex and require many interventions to solve, it is simpler than you may think to be part of the solution. With so many organizations in our region working to uplift those facing serious challenges, businesses, community organizations and people like you are coming together to support each other in lifting up those in need.

Our Chef Showcase & Employment Excellence Awards event gives our supporters – people like you, local businesses and more – the opportunity to come together to celebrate the collective successes within the Millionair Club Charity community. We get to honor one of our exemplary workers, an employer that helps create opportunity for workers, and a community partner whose support is invaluable to rebuilding lives, one job at a time.

Thank you to Harborstone Credit Union for sponsoring the 2017 Chef Showcase & Employment Excellence Awards!

We couldn’t put on this event without even more support from our community. We’re grateful to have groups like Harborstone Credit Union making the 4th Annual Chef Showcase & Employment Excellence Awards a possibility.

“Harborstone Credit Union appreciates the great work the Millionair Club does for our diverse community,” said Mark Minickiello, Harborstone’s Vice President of Community Development. “We’re also fortunate to have one of our team members, Mike Paul [MCC board member], so deeply engaged in the organization’s volunteer activities to support those in need of a helping hand.”

This year we are also proud to partner with Michelle Esteban, anchor and reporter for KOMO 4 News, who will serve as the emcee/host for the event.

Michelle Esteban, Anchor & Reporter for KOMO 4 News, will be the host/emcee for the evening.

“We often see problems around us and say, someone should do something about that,” Michelle said. “I’m thrilled to partner with the Millionair Club Charity, a team who isn’t saying someone should do something, they’re actually doing it. Kindness begets kindness.”

Attending the Chef Showcase & Employment Excellence Awards is guaranteed to be an enjoyable, tasty and uplifting evening. But more importantly, your attendance means you are supporting efforts to help those facing barriers to employment get job ready and on the path to self-sufficiency.

Be part of the unique jobs-first approach to homelessness – get your tickets today and enjoy food from Huxley Wallace Collective, Ezell’s Famous Chicken, Ethan Stowell Restaurants and Sweet Iron Waffles, along with expert wine pairings from Alexandria Nicole Cellars and delicious desserts from Seattle Sorbets. We hope to see you there!

Sorbets & Shared Values: Making the World a Friendlier Place

Workers who come to MCC have many goals – some just need a job quickly to supplement their income so they don’t lose their home, others are looking to build their soft skills to succeed at any job they work, and some individuals simply need a hot meal and a shower. Your support can help reduce barriers to workers trying to meet their goals by providing access to essentials support services.

While workers face barriers and challenges, it is important to celebrate their accomplishments, which is why we host the annual Chef Showcase & Employment Excellence Awards. We want you, our community of supporters around MCC to join us in honoring the successes of our workers, along with the significant efforts and contributions made by our employers and community partners.

Hosting this event would not be possible without the support of local businesses like Seattle Sorbets, who have been involved in this event since it began four years ago. Claiborne Bell, Seattle Sorbets’ VP of Operations and Marketing, is involved not only with Chef Showcase, but is also on our Kitchen Task Force.


Claiborne Bell of Seattle Sorbets with his mother, Belinda, at last year’s Chef Showcase & Employment Excellence Awards

“We have a great family run business here at Seattle Sorbets and it’s really important to all of us to give back to the community that has supported us,” Claiborne said. “We believe that helping people is our responsibility and that doing our part to leave this word better than we found it makes us better people.”

Attending Chef Showcase means getting to enjoy delicious desserts from partners like Seattle Sorbets, unique small plates from Ethan Stowell Restaurants, Huxley Wallace Collective, Sweet Iron Waffle Bar and Ezell’s Famous Chicken. You even get expert wine pairings from Alexandria Nicole Cellars!

“The Chef Showcase is a great way for us to give back to our community, meet people who enjoy our sorbets, and network in the food industry with the other chefs,” Claiborne said. “We are honored to be invited back and we look forward to it every year.”

The food, wine and desserts are certainly a treat, but that’s not the best part: attending the Chef Showcase & Employment Excellence Awards means supporting our workers in reducing barriers to their long-term goals, helping them on the path to success and bettering the greater community.

“This world can be an unfriendly place at times but if we all can do a little bit to help make it a little easier on someone going through a tough time then that’s what we should do,” Claiborne said. “Millionair Club Charity shares these values and that is why we work with them, they work diligently to elevate people and restore their hope for a better future.”

Get your tickets today to the 4th Annual Chef Showcase & Employment Excellence Awards and help make a difference for those in need in our region. This event is generously supported by Servco Foundation, Harborstone Credit Union, Pacific Continental Bank and the Schuster Foundation.

Get Your Tickets Now: Have Fun & Make a Difference!


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Join us in celebrating employer, employee and community partner of the year at our 4th annual Chef Showcase and Employment Excellence Awards! Enjoy small bites from your favorite local Seattle restaurants, along with expert wine pairings from Alexandria Nicole Cellars. Have fun while supporting MCC’s employment program and those who help us rebuild lives, one job at a time. Confirmed participants include Seattle Sorbets, Ethan Stowell Restaurants and Huxley Wallace Collective – stay tuned as we add more!

  • Where: 415 Westlake in South Lake Union
  • When: Thursday, September 28, 2017 from 6-8 p.m.

Last year you helped us raise almost $25,000 to support our employment program – we hope you’ll join us for an evening of celebration and great food.

Register Today

There will be tickets available for purchase for a drawing to win wine, passes to the Museum of Pop Culture and a gift certificate to Alair Neighborhood Gift Shop!

This event is generously supported by Servco Foundation, Harborstone Credit Union and Pacific Continental Bank.

Shining a Light on #SeaHomeless

Everyone wants to know how they can be part of the solution, part of the fight to end the issue of individuals experiencing homelessness. Thanks to the effort of local media organizations, today many will be posting on social media using #SeaHomeless. This year, the “media blitz” on homelessness will focus on solutions to one of the most pressing issues our region is facing, according to an article by Greg Hanscom, Editor in Chief of Crosscut.

At Millionair Club Charity, we believe we can help rebuild lives through jobs. But we know that many of our workers face a variety of barriers to being successful at temporary or permanent employment. How many of us could focus on our daily tasks if we didn’t know where we were sleeping that evening? Or when we’d get to shower next?

That’s why our efforts are called a supportive employment program. Our relationship with our workers doesn’t end when someone gets hired on full-time outside of our program, many of them still live in our transitional housing, Kasota Apartments, or receive meals or take showers at our building. We want to make sure our workers, of which around 70 percent are homeless or unsheltered*, are getting the support they need to be successful in getting a job and keeping that job, so that they can work toward getting housing and rebuilding their lives overall.

We’re looking forward to following the #SeaHomeless conversation and hearing the stories that come from our region’s problem solvers, as well as those impacted by homelessness. We hope you’ll follow along and join in the conversation as well.

*This data is based on self-reporting from workers being onboarded to our employment program. It includes those who are sleeping on the streets, in encampments and shelters.

SHINING a SPOTLIGHT on Employment Success: Sponsors of Chef Showcase

Sponsors of Chef Showcase believe in helping the men and women of Seattle who are homeless or face other barriers to employment, connect with job opportunities and rebuild their lives.  THANK YOU SPONSORS:  you make the Employment Awards at Chef Showcase possible.


TURNER CONSTRUCTION is honored to support the mission of the Millionair Club Charity as they continue to rebuild the lives of men and women in our community.  As the nation’s largest general contractor, we understand the importance of providing opportunities and supporting the communities in which we live and work. Our responsibilities go beyond the business of ‘bricks and mortar.’  Together, with the Millionair Club Charity, we will build a better future for everyone in the Pacific Northwest.”  ~ Chris Killian, General Manager, Turner Construction Company

“CLARION PARTNERS supports a culture of employee involvement in the community and helps facilitate this through both workplace giving and volunteering programs.  The mission of the Millionair Club Charity — to provide jobs and serves to the homeless and unemployed — fits the social responsibility goals of Clarion Partners.  We are pleased to play out small part in this effort. ”  ~ Stephan Latimer, Managing Director, Clarion Partners

PARATEX PEST CONTROL  “As a board member at the Millionair Club Charity for over 40 years, I have seen first hand how a job can help rebuild a life — over and over again.  It’s a joy to sponsor Chef Showcase so others can meet the employers, workers, and community partners, who make the supportive employment program at the MCC a life-changer for so many.  I also appreciate that the MCC is largely funded by private donations instead of government, and that there is no religious requirement for help.  The MCC also encourages individuals to work instead of just receiving a handout. ~ Jim Osborne, Owner, Paratex Pest Control

SCHUSTER FOUNDATION & HOLLY GARDNER“The Millionair Club Charity’s Chef Showcase event is the culminating celebration of what sets this organization apart — employment.  Schuster foundation is proud ot participate in the recognition of the outstanding employers, employees, and community partners that are a part of this great organization.” ~ Holly Gardner, Vice President, The Schuster Group









We would be honored if you joined us in the employment program celebration at Chef Showcase.  Four superb Seattle eateries are each preparing two delectable small plates of food, which are paired with wine tastes from Alexandria Nicole Cellars.  Dessert is icy and delicious Seattle Sorbets.  The event is Thursday, September 29, from 6:pm to 8:pm, at 415 Westlake in South Lake Union.  Tickets are $50 individual; $90 couple; $100 V.I.P. entry, which gives you a gift bag and unlimited wine tastes.  Buy tickets online HERE or phone Alice at 206-957-3846.  Hope to see you there!



Rebuilding Lives with a Staffing Specialty: Events

rock music concert

Whether it’s a Guns and Roses music concert that requires hundreds of workers to staff arena concessions or a small summer soiree for which you need help with set up and take down, events big and small have become a specialty for Millionair Club Charity workers.

In fact, from July 2015 through June 2016, 854 workers were sent out on 14,364 days of work.  Over 70% of those work assignments came from events at Century Link Stadium, Safeco Stadium, and catering assignments for the Compass Group.

Workers in the supportive employment program at the MCC can get financial assistance in order to obtain Food Handler’s Permits and Mandatory Alcohol Server Training licenses.   This small $30 investment makes them eligible for a huge range of jobs in the food industry.  The money earned at these jobs provides vital supplementary income and often a “foot in the door” to a permanent career.

For example, in July 2016, Centerplate at Safeco Stadium hired ten MCC workers for long term assignments.  Workers like Arthur Valenzuela, who after several successful assignments at the concessions for Sounders soccer games, was hired as a cook for events at Century Link stadium and also obtained a job at Beecher’s Cheese in the Pike Place Market.  Now that Arthur is working consistently, he is no longer homeless, and can afford to pay rent for his own room at the MCC’s Kasota apartments.

Find out how you can help rebuild a life by hiring MCC workers for your event by calling 206-728-5627

New Project Increases Outreach to Connect Homeless People to Jobs



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

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.


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!

A Huge Thank You to Jennifer and Ryan, from Walman Optical!

A huge thank you to Jennifer Felix and Ryan Befort, representatives from Walman Optical, for their generous donation to our Vision Clinic! They are manufacturing eye glasses for free, and using a better quality lens (polycarbonate versus plastic), and eye glass frames. They will also provide free instrument repair, supplies, and transport the glasses for manufacture after every clinic. Last year we were able to provide almost 600 appointments and pairs of glasses to individuals in need.


We are grateful to Walman Optical for allowing us to continue this service to the community!



Thanksgiving holiday meals usher in the merry season

Two volunteers showing off a delicious Thanksgiving pie.

Two volunteers showing off a delicious Thanksgiving pie.

Every November and December, our meals program participants look forward to a delicious Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday lunch that ushers in the merry season while not skimping out on all the traditional fixings.

This year, we will host three Holiday Special Meals – the day before Thanksgiving, the day of Thanksgiving and one on Christmas Eve. But these meals would not be possible without the help we receive from our generous community partners.

A large volunteer group from Seattle City Light will help serve food and beverages to our men and women. Earlier this month Northwest Harvest donated several turkeys from Foster Farms to be used for all three meals.

“The Thanksgiving lunch service is something special,” says Brent Herrmann, director of programs at the Millionair Club Charity. “Community volunteers set the tables with tablecloths and decorations, and folks have a chance to sit down and be served turkey lunch, followed by pie.”

We also team up with Full Life Care to provide holiday meals for home-bound seniors. Volunteers from the organization arrive early at our building and dish up to-go boxes of turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce and dessert for older folks who may not have family they can visit.

If you want to support our program participants this holiday season, it’s not too late! We’re looking for donations of butter, celery, stuffing mix and cash to supplement what we already have. Please contact Lindsey Webb at lindseyw@millionairclub.org if you have any further questions.