Bridge House in Boulder has identified an effective three-legged program for getting people out of homelessness once and for all. The program, called "Ready To Work," provides adults experiencing homelessness with three sustaining elements to flourish: paid work at a social enterprise, affordable housing, and ongoing support services. This "work-first" approach gives the power of opportunity to people who haven't had access to jobs. In the program, they work at two social enterprises, a landscaping company and a catering company, where they build a resume, skills, and self-confidence. Participants also receive affordable housing during the program. Finally, participants receive case management support and live alongside a caring community that guides them on their journey from the streets to a home with a job, and a stable path towards a better future.
Ready To Work's program achieves stunning results. At the end of 12 months, 100 percent of trainees remain sober and save 30 percent of their income or more (approximately $1,000). Upon graduating, 75 percent of Ready To Work trainees obtain mainstream employment and housing. Over 66,276 hours were worked in landscaping and culinary arts training, generating $1,167,454 of earned revenue through Ready To Work's two social enterprises. Trainees saved a total of $94,411 in 2019 and 88% of graduates are still employed and housed six months after graduating. In 2018, Bridge House opened their second Ready to Work program in Aurora, CO which has more than doubled their capacity and impact in metro-Denver!
Bridge House is honored to be identified as one of the top 125 most innovative and effective organizations in the social sector during the COVID-19 pandemic and has been awarded the opportunity to participate in a new campaign #HelpTheHelper through the Stand Together Foundation.