First up, housing
We take a holistic approach to working with our students. We know that someone can’t learn and make real changes in their lives if they are hungry, struggling with substance issues with no support or don’t have a safe place to stay. That’s why our social service specialists work so closely with them and why FareStart provides housing to our Adult Culinary students while they are in the program and even after.
We work with a wide variety of partner organizations like the Salvation Army, Jubilee Women’s Center, Recovery Café, Sound Mental Health, Bread of Life and some federal government agencies like the Basic Food Employment & Training (BFET).
In 2018, 81% of our Adult Culinary students were experiencing homelessness when they walked through our doors. We also saw the largest number of students we have ever enrolled.
After a student has gone to our orientation, been interviewed and is a good fit for the program, we immediately get them into housing if they need it. We work with the Salvation Army for this first round of immediate shelter and students are usually there for the first month or so of training. After that, we work with multiple, clean and sober housing organizations to find the best fit for our students.
“Our programs are clean and sober and we only work with housing organizations that are,” said Richard Miller, a social service specialist supervisor at FareStart. “Housing is definitely one of the reasons students come to FareStart. The need hasn’t stopped and we work with a lot of organizations to serve our students.”
FareStart covers the costs of housing for the entire time they are in the program and for up to 30 days after their graduation. After that, we work with housing providers to get our graduates into housing that makes sense for them financially. We have relationships with local apartment and housing services and work as an advocate for our graduates in this competitive market.
Our students learn more than knife skills here at FareStart and we understand that a student has basic needs that must be met before they can dig into the real work that goes into changing the direction of their lives. By providing housing and access to other support services, we help set them up for success.