Kariana as a Property Manager with Project Roomkey
A year ago, Kariana moved from Michigan to Los Angeles for a fresh start. She arrived in LA with some savings, but due to the high cost of living and difficulties finding a full-time job, she experienced homelessness just as the COVID-19 pandemic began.

While living in a shelter, Kariana saw a job posting for a food delivery worker with social enterprise Chrysalis Enterprise Staffing.

Excited by the opportunity to return to work and save up for her own place, she called and was invited to enroll in LA:RISE and Chrysalis’ job readiness program. Through LA:RISE, Kariana began working at a Project Roomkey site where she gained on-the-job experience while supporting the local community during the pandemic.

Project Roomkey is an effort to secure hotel and motel rooms for vulnerable people experiencing homelessness during COVID-19. She also worked with Chrysalis staff to update her resume and write a cover letter for job applications.

Kariana excelled in her role at the Project Roomkey site and was soon offered a permanent position as a desk clerk.

Focused on building a new career, Kariana studied for her California real estate license while working full-time. Six months later, she passed her exams. With her new real estate license, Kariana was offered a full-time role as a property manager with Project Roomkey – a job that also includes a one-bedroom apartment.

Today, Kariana is excited to have a place of her own and is eager to continue pursuing her real estate career.

Los Angeles Regional Initiative for Social Enterprise (LA:RISE)

EWDD is a leadership team partner of LA:RISE, an innovative, collaborative partnership that unites the City and County of Los Angeles’ Workforce Development Systems with non-profit social enterprises and for-profit employers to help men and women with high barriers to employment get good jobs and stay employed.

The City’s WorkSource Centers and LA:RISE prioritize individuals recently released from prison, the unsheltered or those at risk of homelessness, and youth ages 18-24 who are neither in school nor employed. After working in a transitional job at a social enterprise, leveraging WorkSource Center training and services, LA:RISE participants are placed in permanent jobs within the private or the public sector.

This story is part of the EWDD UPDATES from the week of April 26, 2021. Read this issue and more.