LA:RISE provided Raul (center) the support he needed to learn transitional skills to lead a constructive lifestyle and get a job
After experiencing long term homelessness and incarceration, Raul was starting to feel hopeless and alarmed about his future. He had been out of the workforce for 15 years, had no support base and his situation often made him feel vulnerable and susceptible to negative behaviors, he said.

The LA:RISE program gave Raul guidance on how to create a constructive lifestyle and help him become self-sufficient.

Through the program, Raul gained valuable transitional skills, work experience and according to Raul, the program has also helped him increase his social-wellness.

At the Northeast WorkSource Center, Raul enrolled in Goodwill’s Leadership Academy, a three-week National Retail Federation (NRF) training program, and successfully completed 300 hours of work experience at an assigned Goodwill store location.

Raul has successfully been promoted from LA:RISE trainee, to a full-time Goodwill Southern California employee and is now retail store associate at a Goodwill retail store.

Raul is also working on pursuing his dream of becoming a tattoo artist. He has been employed at a local shop and is planning to open his own business.

“Inside the Employment Movement to Address Homelessness in Southern California”

An estimated 300 homeless employers are scheduled to attend “Tapping the Talents of Unique Populations” on February 13, 2019, a forum held by EWDD partner Goodwill Southern California, operator of the City’s Northeast Los Angeles WorkSource Center. EWDD Updates shared success stories from the Los Angeles Regional Initiative for Social Enterprise (LA:RISE), a program that recognizes the “untapped talent in individuals experiencing homelessness, as well as sharing strategies that help individuals get back to work with the dignity and respect that every person in our community deserves.” EWDD and the Roberts Enterprise Development Fund are leadership partners in the program, along with the LA County Department of Workforce Development, Aging and Community Services and multiple social enterprises.

Learn more about the various programs and benefits offered through EWDD Employment Services and WorkSource Centers.

This story is part of the EWDD UPDATES from the week of February 4, 2019. Read this issue and more.