Step Up DC to Connect Homeless Women to Employment Opportunities

Calvary Women’s Services announces the Step Up DC Employment Placement Program as a new addition to an array of support services for homeless women in Washington, D.C. Step Up DC will connect eligible candidates in Calvary’s transitional and permanent housing programs to employers in the community. Through the program, women will gain additional opportunities to support themselves through stable sources of income and other benefits.

“Step Up DC fulfills part of Calvary’s long-term plan to provide personal, comprehensive services that ultimately empower women to end their homelessness,” said Calvary’s executive director Kris Thompson. “Many of the residents at Calvary are eager to work, and by earning jobs they are one important step closer to achieving financial stability, independence and permanent housing. We are thrilled to be expanding our services so we can better meet the needs of residents at Calvary.”

Effective today, Robinson Cook will oversee all aspects of Step Up DC as the job developer for the program. Cook will establish connections with potential employers in the Washington, D.C. area and assist in securing placements for candidates. He will also provide retention support and facilitate job readiness workshops. Prior to his work at Calvary, Cook was the founder and executive director of the Bogota Wage Subsidy Project based in Bogota, Colombia. He also served as director of employment services for Lutheran Social Service in Minneapolis, Minn.

Current and former employees of Calvary’s STRIDE (Search Together to Resume Dignified Employment) program will also be eligible to attend Step Up DC workshops and take advantage of placement opportunities. The STRIDE program began in 1991 as an opportunity for homeless women to develop basic job skills through secure, ongoing employment at Calvary. Currently the program employs one chef and two cleaning assistants.

According to a report prepared by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, 68 percent of single homeless adults in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area were unemployed as of January 2014. That figure represents more than 8,100 individuals in the area who are without work and at a disadvantage to move out of homelessness.

For additional information about Calvary Women’s Services and Step Up DC, please contact Amanda Griesser at (202) 678-2341 ext. 223 or agriesser@calvaryservices.org.

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