Paving the way for youth employment in our community

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Written by Elena Chan, Director of Community Development

One of the Mission Adelante’s values is partnership. We believe that the opportunities and challenges in our community are God-sized, and that meeting them requires partnerships that begin with relationships and trust and move toward collaboration.  Over the past three years, many partnerships have been generated through Adelante Thrift. Since its opening we’ve been able to partner with more than 150 entities in various ways!

Most recently, we’ve teamed up with Workforce Partnership, a local non-profit organization funded by the federal government that serves to provide Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Youth Program services to youth in Wyandotte, Johnson, and Leavenworth counties. Youth services target individuals who are low-income and who meet one or more of the following criteria: basic skills deficient in reading and/or math, foster child, homeless, ex-offender, pregnant or a parent, runaway, and school dropout. The program helps to prepare youth for employment through a combination of educational assistance, skill development, job search assistance, and supportive services.

One of the ways the young adults develop workplace readiness skills is the opportunity to actively participate in the workforce through internships and a chance to explore different industries. For some of the participants, this is their first employment experience, and for others it offers additional, real-world experience in high-demand industries.

Thanks to our new affiliation with Workforce Partnership, we’re gaining four summer youth interns at Adelante Thrift who will work as a cashier, a sorter, a pick-up assistant, and a floor/sales associate!  The training they receive this summer will include: orientation to the assigned job at the store and to the workplace in general, guidance on how various job tasks are to be performed and reported, help to recognize the importance of routine tasks, training on how to organize and prioritize their work, coaching through adequate one-on-one supervision of work activities, and being provided with appropriate feedback on their performance.

By hosting these four young adults, we hope to make an impact on not only these individuals in the workplace but also in the broader community. We are hopeful that our interns will have a great summer that will help them foster their professional growth and expand their career options.

The Power of Community coming together

Written by Elena Chan, Community Development Director /  Mission Adelante

Over the past week, I’ve had the privilege of getting to know a beautiful family and of experiencing the community come together to help provide for them in their time of need. Gustavo and Cintia live in the Prescott Neighborhood of Kansas City, Kansas. They have seven children, ranging in age from three to fourteen. Gustavo is a hard-working entrepreneur with his own painting business. He is a Christian who is dedicated to providing for his family and helping those around him. On Tuesday, January 23rd, his family's life was turned upside down when a fire broke out in their home. Thankfully, they were not at home when the fire occurred, but the house and everything inside were severely damaged.

This is when the community stepped in. The Red Cross offered assistance, and the children’s schools provided school supplies and some clothing. Greg Take, a member of the Prescott Neighborhood Association, found out about the fire and reached out to other community organizations to find resources for the family. Adelante Thrift was one of these organizations. We invited the family to come to the store to pick out clothing, shoes, and household items that they needed as well as to return when they are ready to refurnish their house. As we met the family and began to fully understand the complications of their situation, Mission Adelante partnered with Greg to look for further resources. The greatest challenge facing the family was housing. Gustavo told us that the insurance would only pay for two more days at their hotel and hadn’t released any funds to recover their losses. We reached out to various community organizations who might offer housing solutions. We went with the family to Avenue of Life, a local community development ministry, to see if they could help. Not only was Avenue of Life able to assist the family with food baskets, diapers, and hygiene products, they gave us the good news that Gustavo’s family qualifies for their program to receive temporary one-week housing at a hotel followed by up to 12 months housing rent assistance. This was a huge relief for the family! This program will provide stable housing so they figure out their next steps.

Gustavo and his family are unaccustomed to asking for help, but they are grateful for the assistance of community organizations after this disaster. He is dedicated to getting back to work so he can continue providing for his family on his own. He also mentioned to Adelante Thrift that once he’s back on his feet, he’d like to come to the store and do some painting free of charge. Mission Adelante is proud to be a part of this community of strong families and compassionate organizations who partner together to meet the God-sized opportunities and challenges that we encounter in Kansas City!