The Issue: Alaska Residents Hindered by Homelessness
Approximately 2,000 Alaskans experiencing homelessness sleep outside on any given night, according to an article by KTVA Alaska. In a state where temperatures can dip to -60 degrees fahrenheit, risk of exposure adds another layer of hardship to an already challenging situation. Although giving these individuals hot meals and warm coats can help them survive, it isn't enough to get them back to self sufficiency and off the street permanently. That lies with steady employment.
The Campaign: Equipping Underserved Individuals for Job Training
All donations to this Grassroots campaign will be used by Bean’s Café to equip people transitioning out of homelessness or incarceration for a job-training program. For every $150 raised, Bean's Café can provide a chef's starter kit for one individual enrolled in its Culinary Job Training program. The starter kit includes an apron, a chef coat, two T-shirts, one ball cap, and one knife kit.
During the 14-week Culinary Job Training program, professional chefs work with employed and formerly incarcerated or homeless individuals, teaching them cooking techniques, knife skills, and food safety. In addition to preparing students for culinary careers, the program helps with resumé building and interview skills to help people secure employment.
Based in and supported by the community since 1979, Bean’s Café serves hot breakfast and lunch 365 days a year to those experiencing homelessness as well as low-income elderly residents and seasonally unemployed community members. On the busiest days, the staff of volunteers serves almost 800 free meals. Additionally, the organization's Children’s Lunchbox program provides meals to low-income youth at sites throughout the Anchorage area. The center also provides assistance and referrals for clients seeking employment, housing, rehabilitation services, and educational opportunities, as well as long-term assistance for veterans and those with disabilities.
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