Of the over 11,000 people identified as homeless or unsheltered by the 2017 All Home King County Count Us In Report, 30 percent surveyed said they were homeless due to losing their job. Many of them have faced mental and physical illness, domestic violence, serious injury, long-term unemployment, and other traumas that create severe barriers to employment. Those without permanent or even temporary shelter often find themselves sleeping in tents and in cars, sometimes with their families. Without stable employment, these individuals and families will remain stuck in the cycle of poverty, unable to escape.
Millionair Club Charity (MCC) takes a holistic approach to help individuals with the greatest barriers escape homelessness and poverty by offering immediate temporary employment and permanent employment opportunities to those seeking to rebuild their confidence and self-sufficiency. In addition to the employment program, MCC offers an array of support services, such as housing, shower and laundry facilities, nutritious meals, clothing, and connection to community services, to help people become ready for work and find success. MCC also provides free eye examinations and glasses—critical services to help individuals succeed in the workplace—setting them apart from many community services. Kasota Apartments, MCC’s transitional housing facility, provides 47 units of affordable housing to workers that are in MCC’s supportive employment program, putting them on the path to long-term stability.
The quickest and surest way out of poverty is a stable job, and MCC’s approach is providing rapid employment. After the completion of a 4-hour orientation course, workers can immediately receive daily employment at the starting wage of $13 per hour. The entire process takes place at MCC in a space that non-judgmental, informal, and stigma-free. MCC participants feel a newfound sense of self-esteem and dignity, giving back to the community in which they once felt hopeless and powerless. That’s because MCC provides more than just a job. It’s a new lease on life—a transformed life.
In 2016-2017 fiscal year, 215 men and women were placed in permanent or long-term jobs, with 1,516 employers hiring MCC workers. Over 1,000 MCC workers have accomplished 166,263 hours of work, making a major impact on the community, with 50 full-time workers saving up to $2 million in public funds.
Founded by Martin G. Johanson in 1921, the Millionair Club Charity was started with the belief that people need more than just a hot meal—they need the opportunity to work again and rebuild their lives. Since then, MCC has provided a supportive employment program designed to help these with significant barriers to employment find work and keep it, and has been a constant for the homeless, underemployed, unemployed, and those at risk for eviction in the Greater Seattle Area.
MCC is a 2017 S+ Catalyst. Through participation in the Catalyst Program, MCC receives training from industry experts in organizational development, branding, measurement and growth, and strategic relationships to amplify their impact and strategically expand their reach.