LOOKING BACK AND CHARTING STEPS FORWARD
Last February, our spring newsletter highlighted a study noting that homelessness and jobs were projected to be a top concern for Californians during the 2020 election. Less than a month later, the world’s collective attention shifted to the pandemic and the subsequent wide-spread safety measures that changed every aspect of our personal and professional lives.
The effects of this crisis also had a swift impact on employment levels. As a result of sweeping closures, millions of Californians were faced with job loss last year, with Los Angeles and Orange County reflecting the sharpest increases in unemployment rates.
For new Chrysalis clients like Eddie, who was suddenly let go by his employer of over two decades and faced with navigating the unfamiliar territory of looking for employment online, our remote services were critical to getting him back to work with minimal delay. Individualized support from his Employment Specialist, access to resume writing and practice interview services offered by volunteers, a gift card to purchase professional attire, and a referral to a temporary job in line with his interests and experience with our local hiring partner LA Family Housing, ultimately led to Eddie securing permanent work.
For those who were able to safely seek employment in 2020, Chrysalis was there to help. Last year, over 6,500 people accessed our programs and services, including over 2,000 new clients since we shifted to a virtual program model in mid-March.
Despite the increased hurdles our clients faced to the workforce, virtual success bells rang every day. Over 1,500 individuals – and counting – secured employment and another 1,600 worked a transitional job through our employment social enterprise last year. Our virtual volunteers and staff helped conduct a combined 3,800 resume writing and practice interview sessions, while a select number of on-site staff across our centers in Southern California ensured that over 650 clients working temporary jobs with us received paychecks each week.
Thanks to the generosity of our supporters, we also distributed over $925,000 in direct financial aid to clients, helping them cover essentials like rent, utility bills, groceries, transportation, and more.
In the words of a Chrysalis Employment Specialist, “Being able to access these funds has allowed me to feel agency in advocating for my clients and helping them receive real support in an immediate way. I have been able to help my clients when there is no other help available during this pandemic. That is the best result any direct service provider can hope for during such a difficult time.”
A lot has changed in the last 12 months, but the issues of homelessness and unemployment must remain top priorities if our community is to truly recover from the effects of COVID-19. At Chrysalis, we believe that a job is a key step in someone’s transition out of poverty and onto a pathway to self-sufficiency. At the same time, it is just as important that we continue to support folks in remaining employed or – as was the case with Eddie – in securing new employment as quickly as possible after they experience job loss to prevent them from experiencing additional hardship.
The Los Angeles Homeless Services Agency’s 2019 Homeless Count confirmed the steeply rising rate of people falling into homelessness, with 59% of the unsheltered adults experiencing homelessness for the first time citing economic hardship as the cause. As we anticipate an increased need for our services in the near and distant future, this is another confirmation of why our employment-focused services are crucial.
Despite a tumultuous year, our dedication to our clients is unwavering. As we look forward to 2021, we have committed to helping 1,900 clients secure employment and anticipate welcoming at least 3,400 new clients to our program. We are also prepared to grow hiring partnerships throughout Southern California and get new programs off the ground that will ensure more clients are able to prepare for, find, and retain employment. Read on to learn about two programs that are allowing us to equip more clients with the resources and support they need to realize their employment goals.
MORE PATHWAYS TO EMPLOYMENT FOR INDIVIDUALS IMPACTED BY THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM
Chrysalis is excited to be part of Skills and Experience for the Careers of Tomorrow (SECTOR), a new three-year program in partnership with LA County’s Office of Diversion and Reentry aimed at connecting 1,500 individuals who have been impacted by the criminal justice system to training and employment opportunities in growing job industries. We will be serving 250 participants this year and a total of 750 individuals over the next three years.
Launching in February 2021, Chrysalis will be actively enrolling clients into this exciting new program.
Led by our Director of SECTOR, Kelli Micheau, our team of Career Coaches will work with clients to achieve the program’s key goals, including decreasing unemployment rates and increasing wages, reducing recidivism, and improving participant wellbeing by preparing them to realize their employment goals with the support of vocational training. Meanwhile, our Chrysalis Enterprises Business Development team will be working closely with our employer partners to meet their hiring needs while targeting job opportunities in growing industries, including public sector, healthcare, social service, IT, construction and green jobs, and more.
Learn more about how your company can find dedicated employees through Chrysalis: ChangeLives.org/Hire
PROGRAM UPDATE & OUTCOMES
Last fall, we announced Chrysalis’ participation in Project Roomkey, a State-wide program made possible by the efforts of the State of California, its Counties, and other municipalities aimed at creating temporary housing solutions for our most vulnerable community members during the pandemic. Throughout Southern California, the County and City of Los Angeles and the Los Angeles Services Authority worked together to connect over 6,000 at-risk individuals experiencing homelessness with a safe place to stay in the form of vacant hotel or motel rooms to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. A similar program, Project Toolbelt, operates in Orange County.
In addition to access to shelter, these locations offer residents three meals a day and wrap-around supportive services. Two of these sites are run by Chrysalis hiring partner National Health Foundation, which has worked with our Staffing team to hire over 275 Chrysalis clients each week in transitional jobs at these locations throughout the pandemic. 13 clients have since transitioned into permanent roles at the organization, including Paul and Dwona.
“Through our partnership with Chrysalis, individuals are gaining valuable personal and professional skills, opening up the door to roles in the healthcare field that may not have been otherwise accessible to them,” shares National Health Foundation President & CEO, Kelly Bruno.
We introduced you to Dwona last September, who has since accepted a permanent Guest Services Associate position with the foundation. “Chrysalis is truly a blessing to me because without them I would have never been connected to National Health Foundation (NHF). Thanks to NHF, I have found my passion in helping others and am currently pursuing a degree in social work. I want to help others the same way Chrysalis and NHF helped me,” she shares.
Building on the success of Project Roomkey, Project Homekey is the next phase in the state’s response to protecting Californians experiencing homelessness who are at high risk for serious illness and are impacted by COVID-19.
Administered by the California Department of Housing and Community Development, $600 million in grant funding has been made available to purchase and rehabilitate housing, including hotels, motels, vacant apartment buildings, and other buildings and convert them into interim or permanent, long-term housing. Chrysalis looks forward to answering the call when staffing of these locations picks up in the coming months.
THANK YOU, TIM DUBOIS
PRESIDENT/CEO, EDWARD THOMAS COMPANIES
After 27 impactful years on Chrysalis’ Board of Directors, Tim Dubois retired from the Board at the end of 2020. In this spotlight, he reflects on his time at Chrysalis. We thank Tim for his years of service and support and celebrate him as a lifelong member of the Chrysalis family.
Back in 1992, I was concerned about homelessness and was asking a friend if he had any suggestions for what could be done to mitigate the situation. He told me about this young organization, Chrysalis, which had a very smart model for helping people out of homelessness permanently and breaking the cycle of poverty by finding them jobs. A few months later, I was fortunate to be asked to join the Board of Directors…
CHANGE LIVES WITH US
Join us today in our commitment to helping individuals get on a pathway to self-sufficiency in one of the following ways:
Your donation ensures that the more than 6,000 clients who will turn to Chrysalis for access to vital resources and support this year will be empowered in their journeys to find and retain employment.
Chrysalis has focused on employment for more than three decades, and we can tell you that employers have the opportunity to be great catalysts of change in our communities.
Last year, we hosted a record-breaking number of virtual events, including our first-ever Chrysalis Night In. The star-studded event featured live music and entertainment, raising over $425,000!
Visit ChangeLives.org/CNI to watch the show! We invite you to check out our upcoming and past events – visit our YouTube channel for recordings of our monthly Community Broadcasts and exclusive behind-the-scenes interviews with Chrysalis staff and clients.