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Removing employment barriers

In Colorado, a nonprofit works with the unhoused to find steady, dependable work.

With two locations in the metropolitan Denver area, Ready to Work helps adults experiencing homelessness with a holistic program that combines paid work, dormitory housing and case management support. Ready to Work participants in Aurora and Boulder work at one of several social enterprises run by the organization, including a commercial kitchen called Community Table Kitchen and a landscaping service for municipalities and business improvement districts, both of which receive operational support from Bank of America. In 2020 these enterprises generated $1.3 million in revenue, which was primarily used for trainee wages.

To graduate from Ready to Work, trainees must find mainstream employment and housing and fulfill other program requirements that remove barriers to employment. Nearly three out of four successfully achieve this milestone, earning an average hourly wage of $16.50. Through Ready to Work Aurora, graduates have found full-time jobs in construction, retail, property management and nonprofit work. The organization continues to provide graduates with support services through Ready to Work Aftercare, including counseling to sustain housing and employment success, further helping address the cycle of homelessness. Support for this program is part of Bank of America’s five-year, $1.25 billion commitment to advance racial equality and economic opportunity.