The national housing nonprofit is launching HomeAid WORKS, a new pilot program to allow people experiencing homelessness to pursue careers in home building.
HomeAid America's workforce development program, ("WORKS" standing for Workforce Opportunities for Rebuilding through Knowledge and Skills"), will open on April 17th in its pilot market, Denver, with plans to roll out in three more markets in 2019. WORKS is made possible in part by a $500,000 grant from home builder Lennar's charitable arm, the Lennar Foundation, and offers education, technical training, and employment opportunities in home building for adults, young people, and veterans who are or have previously experienced homelessness, and those who are currently at risk for homelessness.
Additionally, WORKS identifies nonprofits working with homeless individuals and builds new housing in support of those groups' efforts with in-kind donations of builders, their trades, and suppliers. The savings are then reinvested into the program's training, financial counseling, and physical and emotional support services.
“We are blown away by the generosity of the Lennar Foundation,” Peter Simons, CEO of HomeAid America said in a statement. “The answer to ending homelessness is to provide the necessary housing, but it must be in conjunction with opportunities for ongoing work at a livable wage to create self-sufficiency. We will be able to use this funding to help move people from homelessness to having well-paying careers in homebuilding. It’s a win-win-win for the homeless population we serve, the building industry that supports us, and the communities we operate in.”