-Brad, What made you decide to start Housed Working and Healthy?
"In 2017, I had a vision to create a nonprofit that would combine stable housing, mental health services, workforce development and employment."
-What have you learned from your first two years of operation?
"What I have learned in the past two years is that the important things we do to help our students include providing structure, the personal support and individual assistance that they need in order to gain confidence, as well as the knowledge needed to redirect themselves and the self-assurance that they can do it. I wish we could help everyone who needs it but I realize that we need to work with people one at a time - working with them to give them the support they need.
By working together each of the students in our graduation classes find the friends and support they need both among the other students but also from our support staff and instructors. Our model is to work with individuals one at a time. This is not just about training and jobs, this is about helping people put their lives back together."
-How can Colorado Gives Donors help you in the future? (or What are your goals for the future?)
"I am planning that HWH will double in 2023 - helping more students graduate and find employment and experience the sense of achievement they get as they restart their lives. I know that you, like I, want to find ways to help as many people as we can and make a meaningful contribution to reducing homelessness in Denver and surrounding areas. I am asking you to participate in this fund drive to help us continue our efforts."
We need to:
- Add the staff and infrastructure to ensure that our model can continue into the future.
- Refine and find additional recruiting partners to locate the students we can help.
- Build stronger employment partners to help with apprentice training and full-time employment.
- Make improvements to our Kitchen and Training Facilities so that we can grow over the next 3 to 5 years.
Housed Working & Healthy was founded in 2018 with a mission to help unhoused people return to independent living. The cornerstone of the HWH approach is a focus on the pillars of stable housing, mental health supports, and vocational training/employment placement services such that participants can thrive in their lives and their communities. Our model provides participants with paid, hands-on job training, mental health supports, job readiness and employment placement services, and ultimately housing navigation services. We believe in equipping a diverse group of individuals with the tools and resources to ensure they can thrive.
We leverage partnerships with more than 30 organizations to provide a collective impact. Our culinary curriculum was co-developed with Emily Griffith Technical College. Students also participate in workshops, leadership development, and are placed in employment at partner employers who provide competitive salaries and benefits.
“Housed Working and Healthy provided me a positive environment, when it seemed like my whole world was falling apart. I was a little worried about joining at first, but I was surprised to gain another family. I’m excited to obtain a prosperous future in the culinary world. May this program continue having a positive impact on the homeless community. ‘Trouble don’t last always’; this program is a perfect example of this statement” YP, 2022 HWH Graduate.
“My graduation date is today! I have been enrolled in the Housed, Working, and Healthy program for approximately three months. Within that time, I have developed kitchen skills, kitchen sanitation knowledge, and teamwork skills! This program has been a wonderful opportunity and I have learned so much! I am thankful!” KK, 2022 HWH Graduate.
HWH helps individuals rebuild their lives and our community! Graduation from the HWH Culinary program is an important milestone for students. We celebrate their achievements as participants start a new life with the knowledge and talents they have learned. Graduates receive a Culinary ServSafe Certificate, Certificate of Completion from Emily Griffith Technical College, and Certificate of Achievement. In addition to the certificates, they receive a chef's jacket, apron, knife, and cutting board from Housed Working and Healthy. HWH Chef, Mentor, and Instructor.