2019 Strategic Grant
Legal-name: Goodwill Serving the People of Southern Los Angeles County
Previous-name: Goodwill SOLAC
Address: 800 West Pacific Coast Highway
City: Long Beach
Ranking-title: Janet McCarthy, President & CEO
First-name: Janet McCarthy
Title: President & CEO
Tel-952: (562) 435-3411
Textarea-499: Employment Preparation, Job Placement and Supportive Services for individuals experiencing homelessness.
How-many-years: Three (3)
How-many-individuals: Approximately 75 individuals will be served with this grant.
What-is-project: Goodwill Serving the People of Southern Los Angeles County (SOLAC) Life Skills & Employment Preparation Program for Individuals Experiencing Homelessness: Goodwill SOLAC is one of 12 public and private partner organizations of the Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services Continuum of Care, the lead health department and local planning body funded by U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development that coordinates housing and other services for families and individuals experiencing homelessness. The Multi-Service Center (MSC) is the primary point of entry for persons seeking homeless services assistance in Long Beach. Two Goodwill SOLAC staff are co-located in the MSC and work collaboratively with other organizations to address the needs of Long Beach’s homeless population. As part of the MSC collaborative, Goodwill SOLAC has a taken a leadership role in providing employment services for individuals experiencing homelessness.
Goodwill SOLAC provides comprehensive employment and supportive services that enable individuals experiencing homelessness to achieve unsubsidized competitive employment. Employment is a key factor that allows an individual to overcome homelessness and forge a path out of poverty towards economic self-sufficiency. Goodwill SOLAC’s comprehensive supportive services include, but are not limited to, life skills and employment preparation training, transportation and clothing assistance, and coordination of other supports that help to mitigate barriers to employment. Participants can also access Goodwill SOLAC’s industry sector training programs that lead to state certifications and career opportunities with wages that enable economic self-sufficiency. Life Skills and Employment Preparation workshops are provided Monday through Thursday at the MSC facility and a Job Club is held at Goodwill SOLAC’s main facility every Friday. Goodwill SOLAC is located on the route of a main bus line and is adjacent to the Metro Blue Line light rail transit system, making access to services convenient for those who rely on public transportation.
Goodwill SOLAC’s MSC staff include a Life Skills and Employment Preparation Coach, and an Employment Preparation and Placement Coach. These staff work together to assure that homeless persons seeking assistance at the MSC receive the life skills, employment preparation skills, and job placement services that they need in order to achieve successful placement and retention of employment. Life Skills and Employment Preparation workshops are conducted on a drop-in, three week revolving schedule at the MSC. Topics include: Social Interaction, Financial Literacy 1 & 2, Stress/Anger/Conflict Management, Self-Determination/Self-Presentation, Making Good Decisions, What is Ethics, Teamwork, Conflict Resolution, Job Search/Job Retention, Job Hurdles & Barriers, Resume/Cover Letter Techniques, and Interview Process. Job Club provides mock interviews, social media trainings, networking and more.
How-will-you-succeed: Individual success stories have demonstrated the power of work to transform lives. With Goodwill SOLAC’s comprehensive supportive services, individuals are empowered to overcome barriers and achieve gainful employment. Goodwill SOLAC’s comprehensive supportive services include but are not limited to, assistance with basic needs including transportation (bus passes, gas cards), clothing cards, grooming supplies and services, occupational skills training and testing registration fees, and more. Expected outcomes for program participants include, but are not limited to, acquisition of life skills, employment soft skills, job search skills, and for those who enroll in the Goodwill SOLAC industry sector training programs, occupational skills training and State of California certifications in the healthcare or security industry sector. Additional job placement outcomes are possible in culinary arts and retail management, as well as direct job placements into a myriad of other employment opportunities.
Goodwill SOLAC tracks and records participant outcomes in basic skills, work readiness skills, and occupational skills. Success is measured by the number of participants who complete workshops and are placed in and retain unsubsidized employment. Program efficiency is measured by how quickly participants get a job from the point of program completion. Goodwill SOLAC staff use the Los Angeles County Economic Self-Sufficiency Standards chart as a tool to determine when a job seeker has achieved a level of wages that moves them out of poverty and into economic self-sufficiency. This tool also assists the individuals to develop a timeline and action plan to attain the skills they need to achieve economic advancement. With long-term follow up tracking and coordination with partner organizations, Goodwill SOLAC supports the ultimate goal of safe and sustainable housing for program participants experiencing homelessness.
Goodwill SOLAC supports its programs with revenues from its commercial operations, and ongoing efforts to secure financial support from public and private resources. The results of our work are shared with the Board of Trustees and funders through periodic reports, and with the public through press releases, an annual report, newsletter, and on social media.
Who-are-you: Goodwill SOLAC was established in 1929. Over the 90 years since it was founded, Goodwill SOLAC has gained a depth of experience in workforce development and achieved demonstrated success in delivering workforce training. Our job training programs are accompanied by comprehensive supportive services including mentoring and follow along support services for up to five years. Goodwill SOLAC’s Vice President of Work Development is an Aspen Institute Marano Fellow, an alumnus of Leadership Long Beach, and has implemented best practices in workforce development for over twenty years. He has established numerous program collaborations and developed a myriad of community partners, including a loyal cadre of employers, who help to advance the organization’s mission.
Goodwill partners with the community, transforming donated goods into job training, education, and placement services, for individuals with barriers to employment.
Goodwill SOLAC makes a commitment to provide vocational educational and training programs and services based on the needs of the community and the financial resources of the organization.
We value all people and believe that work is essential to life. We support diversity, inclusion, and an individual’s transition to family-sustaining employment.
Goodwill SOLAC provides the Long Beach community with programs that increase pathways to economic well-being for the underserved. Homeless individuals face multiple barriers and problems that impair their ability to obtain jobs and housing. Soft skills competencies, or the lack thereof, are frequently cited by employers as a problem that negatively impacts hiring and job retention. Other obstacles such as poor credit and criminal records also impact homeless job seekers and present barriers to securing housing. Goodwill SOLAC addresses those issues by providing homeless job seekers with case management, coordinated access to resources, assistance with basic life skills such as financial literacy and budgeting, time management and setting priorities, and employment preparation training, as part of the wholistic support system that assists the job seekers as they navigate their way out of poverty and into a more stable economic living situation.