Dear StepUp supporters,
On behalf of StepUp Durham’s Board of Directors, I want to say one thing: “We did it!” In our first 12 months, StepUp Durham assisted 50 adults in obtaining employment—60% of whom had a criminal background. At least 40 employers have partnered with us and at least 12 StepUp participants have worked their way out of homelessness. We have assisted veterans, domestic violence survivors, those with GEDs and Bachelors degrees.
These accomplishments are just the beginning. Over the course of this fiscal year (July 1, 2016 – June 30, 2017), StepUp’s goal is to support 100 people in employment and to begin conversations about a post-employment program for working adults and their families. We anticipate this program offering a variety of wrap-around services, including coaching on budgeting, personal development, and long-term career planning. We hope to do this by collaborating with nonprofits that bring areas of expertise that compliment our own employment focus. These include housing, financial literacy, mentoring, youth development, entrepreneurship, and more.
Conversations around a family program have already begun and will continue in a Collaborative Visioning Session set for Nov. 3. During this session, StepUp stakeholders will gather to reflect on StepUp’s present and dream about its future. A number of StepUp partners have already RSVP’d, including representatives from:
- Durham CARES
- Durham Congregations in Action (DCIA)
- Durham County Criminal Justice Resource Center
- Durham Technical Community College
- Helius Foundation
- Made in Durham
- People’s Alliance
- REAL Durham
- Urban Ministries
StepUp has great things on the horizon in collaboration with these partners. But turning dreams into reality will take the support of people like you.
StepUp invests approximately $3,000 in supportive services for each job seeker. This covers the cost of 32 hours of pre-employment training, interview and work attire, pre-employment supplies like work boots and uniforms, professional employment counseling, referrals to employer partners, post-employment support, and career planning services. We compare this to the cost of $30,000 per year to re-incarcerate a returning citizen who cannot find employment or the immeasurable effects that joblessness has on the social fabric of our city.
To date, StepUp has raised $156,000 of the $400,000 needed to serve 100 unemployed adults and launch a program for working families in 2017.
That is enough to assist a few, but we want to serve all who come to our door. That is why we, the StepUp Durham Board of Directors, are asking for your support. Help us serve every adult and family that needs to get incoming flowing. We need you. More importantly, they need you.
StepUp Durham Board of Directors, Treasurer