We’ve stated several times that there is a “huge need” for employment for our friends on the streets. But what does that really mean?
Just today I had two conversations at a picnic with Dry Bones. One of our friends on the streets asked what I do, and I told him that I am in the process of opening a coffee shop, and as we talked more he asked about what it was all about. I told him our vision and mission, and he kind of froze and was clearly thinking. He then asked, “Could I work there?” I told him, “It’s tough to say. You could apply and interview like everyone else, but I can’t promise you a job. We’re not open yet, and we’ll have a lot of applicants.” He understood, and said, “That makes sense. Everyone out here is looking for a job.”
Another conversation was with a girl that is off the streets now. She already knew about Purple Door and she asked about it. I gave her an update and she said that she wished she had something like Purple Door when she was trying to get off the streets. She talked about how she needed support when she was first working–and still needs support. She’s also currently unemployed, and looking for work.
Our friends need not only employment, but supportive employment. They need grace, challenge, responsibility, love, accountability, trust, expectations. Those are hard things to mix, but growth and change are not easy–so that’s to be expected.
Madison and I also had a meeting with a state employee. She works for the office of Homeless Youth Services. This is an under-resourced agency and the employee we met with was wonderful. She has to work with Non-profits and NGOs to get her job done. She said to us that we are the first employment project specifically for this demographic that she knows of. We are aware of some others that are also in the process of launching; but her familiarity with the population, the issue, and the vacancy of job training for this population speaks volumes. It’s her job to connect with organizations and efforts like ours, but there aren’t many (any) to connect with.
There is a need that is being recognized by everyone that has connection with this population. So when we say there is a “huge need”, please know that what we are doing is addressing only a portion of the need on the streets. The sooner we are able to launch, the sooner we will begin equipping our friends to permanently exit street life. Hopefully we will grow and grow so we can employ more and more people and enact serious change in the culture on the streets.
Join us in the journey. Our primary need for launching is funding right now. Please head to our website to donate if you are able.
We also need and desire your prayers. Please pray for our friends on the streets that are searching for a way out. Pray for the funding to come in. Pray for decisions Madison and I make for Purple Door Coffee. Pray for decisions of our friends on the streets. Please, cover this entire effort in prayer.
If you are interested in helping, but don’t have the financial means to donate, feel free to contact us. We would love to brainstorm and dream about ways to work together.