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Helping the homeless start businesses


General Business Discussions

A place to talk about general business discussions.
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Old 02-05-2007, 05:58 PM
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Have you seen any programs like this in your area? Where the homeless are taught how to start their own businesses? Do you think it will be successful? Or would they be better off getting help with employement?

Program looks to help small businesses, homeless - A center that serves the homeless is launching a new project that will serve as a national model for how to help clients on the path to self-sufficiency.

The St. Patrick Center is creating a small "business incubator" and trades training center in the same building where the homeless are invited to sit for a hot lunch. The intent is to fight the root causes of homelessness by teaching individuals life skills and a trade and creating a few small businesses to give good-paying jobs to some of those trying to get off the streets or out of shelters.

The effort is particularly welcome news to Cecil Burnett, 49, who said he has been on the verge of homelessness at times. Burnett used to cook in restaurant kitchens, jobs with a stress level "that's up there with air-traffic control," he said. He wanted a different livelihood.

Burnett, who is on parole from a conviction for sex offenses, is trying to improve his life. He said he's in an alcohol recovery program and completed training at the St. Patrick Center to learn gardening. He dreams of one day opening a basic lawn-care business that could perform janitorial work in the cold months.
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Old 02-11-2007, 07:10 PM
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I'm all for helping people that want to help themselves. I would be very sceptical of hiring them due to the underlying issues as to why they are homeless.

Substance abuse and mental illness prevails in that segment of society. The last thing you want to do for them is give them a source of money to further their own alchohol and drug reserch.

I think you better serve them via mentoring. Let them prove they are on two feet again with very little chance of falling back into old habits. Show me they have a bank account, a place to live, attending AA etc. Stability. Steady employment. Only then would I consider hiring them.
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Old 02-12-2007, 01:33 PM
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Very good point.
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