Celebrating 20 Years!
In the News
There's more to running a truly successful business than a strong bottom line.
At Strategic Staffing Solutions that's an important benchmark, of course, for measuring our management team. But we also measure our team on their commitment to community service and to creating opportunities for both our employees and other members of our communities to improve their station in life.
Those of us who work downtown are acutely aware of the presence of the homeless in our midst. For many of us, they are a faceless, perhaps frightening entity to be hurried past and ignored. But each homeless person is an individual with a unique story.
Fortunately, my fellow board members of the Downtown Detroit Partnership (DDP) share our philosophy of community service. That's why we decided last year to put together a program to identify and reach out to the homeless in our community to help them get their lives back on track.
I'm sure most of us could never imagine being homeless. As we started to examine the situation, we found that many of the homeless never thought it could happen to them, either. When it does, they spend so much of their time and energy just surviving from day to day that they can't turn things around.
So the DDP, working with the United Way for Southeastern Michigan, created 2-1-1 On the Go!, a program to seek out the homeless and offer them the opportunity to get their lives back together.
Every day, two United Way homeless outreach specialists are on the street in 2-1-1 On the Go! vehicles that were donated to the program by DDP Chairman Roger Penske. Both are trained social workers, with the skill sets necessary to engage with the homeless and help them access the resources they need. Both vehicles are well marked, easily identifiable and equipped with everything needed to provide aid to the homeless --- laptops, printers, scanners and wireless internet access.
Right there on the street the workers can process IDs, set-up a postal address and voicemail and access 7,000 services in 1,200 different categories that the United Way's 2-1-1 program has in place. They can help Detroit's homeless get into a shelter, identify jobs that are available, know where they can get cleaned up for an interview, and provide a personal address and phone number to put on a job application.
In the first three months after we launched this program last October, 83 percent of the homeless individuals approached accepted assistance. In total, 205 homeless men and women were helped to take the first step toward changing their station in life.
In the process, we have learned that when the homeless successfully break one barrier, they gain the confidence they need to attack other barriers. With 2-1-1 On the Go! we are improving the lives of some of the most vulnerable members of our society while at the same time helping create a more welcoming environment in our city.
If you'd like to support this program through work and/or financial contributions contact the Downtown Detroit Partnership or the United Way of Southeastern Michigan.
In doing so, you can learn the very real rewards of focusing on more than the bottom line. And you can help people who are truly lost right in the midst of our community to turn their lives around one man or woman at a time.