Anawim Housing is always looking for ways to improve the lives of program participants in our Permanent Supportive Housing programs. Program managers were noticing a common theme while working with their participants, a desire to return to work. When people come from homelessness into stable housing, they have the shelter, security and time to begin dreaming of next steps. ReNew Crew was created to help with those next steps.
ReNew Crew is a supportive employment social enterprise designed to immediately place program participants into employment opportunities with few barriers. It mirrors the Housing First and harm reduction practices uses Anawim Housing agency wide. Individuals who have a desire to work do not have to advance through a series of classes or training programs. They are placed directly into the workforce and are supported in remaining employed. Conflicts and employment struggles are viewed as teaching and training moments. Supervisors model workplace best practices and are available to offer support through mental health or substance use relapses.
ReNew Crew provides apartment unit cleaning, painting, grounds keeping, and light maintenance. There is a shortage of workers trained to provide these services in our community and ReNew Crew is filling a gap in the market place.
"The synergy involved in creating ReNew Crew is so exciting. There is a place in the market and an untapped and willing workforce who will benefit in a multitude of ways by being employed" says Scott Sithonnorath, program manager who is taking the lead in developing ReNew Crew. “The ReNew Crew is many things. For some, it’s income, learning new skills, or having a sense of community. To me, ReNew Crew is about providing stability and an opportunity. I love to see people winning. With ReNew Crew, everyone wins. We are providing a service to our community, developing a program that brings stability to otherwise unstable individuals and families and earning income for our tenants and programming. ReNew Crew is awesome and it is such a privilege to be a part of it. I can talk all day about why this is such a good program." says Scott.
Through ReNew Crew employment, individuals who have long been unemployed are able to increase income, gain skills, create structure and purpose, and develop support networks. ReNew Crew employees will have gained a positive employment reference, added to their work history, expanded their resume, and increased their skill level should they seek employment elsewhere.
At the end of the year, ReNew Crew received a $30,000 Founding Funder gift from the Lohse Family Foundation Fund that will provide critical funding to sustain and grow the program. Anawim Housing is excited to see the future of this transformative program begin to take shape.
For more information on ReNew Crew, please contact Jeremy Orcutt at: firstname.lastname@example.org.