We saw more young people and families fall into homelessness because they didn’t have a safety net. To champion a sense of urgency and drive innovation, we sponsored 100-Day Challenges in Washington State’s King, Pierce and Spokane Counties to rapidly move as many young people as possible off the streets. Subsequently, 615 homeless youth and young adults were moved into safe and stable housing.
We also joined the business and philanthropic community to ensure that No Child Sleeps Outside. This campaign has raised more than $6.6 million over the past two years and enabled Mary’s Place to open three new shelters for homeless families and serve an additional 500 families. The Schultz Family Foundation’s investment focused on both diverting families from homelessness and developing housing solutions for those families prepared to take their next steps toward self-sufficiency after emergency housing. As a result, 326 families served by Mary’s Place moved into stable housing in 2017, including 112 families who transitioned from unsheltered situations directly into housing.
Expanding Our National Reach
Our mission has always been to unlock the assets and potential of the Post 9/11 Veteran and Opportunity Youth communities. And now, we’re moving from early stage investments and partnerships to innovative face-to-face and technology enabled strategies that will dramatically advance our work and impact the success of the people we serve.
Research Informing Our Efforts
We partnered with FSG, Hart Research, and Walmart to conduct Opportunity Youth focus groups around the country to hear directly from young people about the challenges they face in getting and retaining a job. Our biggest takeaways were that supportive frontline managers are vital, and being treated with respect matters above all else. Click here to learn more about our findings in the Harvard Business Review.
We are also supporting The Veteran Metrics Initiative (TVMI) with our partners at the Henry M. Jackson Foundation. TVMI is the first-of-its-kind study of over 9,500 Post 9/11 veterans transitioning from active duty to civilian life. This three-year study measures veterans’ health, vocation, finances, and social relationships. When completed in the Spring of 2020, TVMI will have valuable data that will inform our strategic investments.
More than 173,000 Opportunity Youth have been hired through the 100,000 Opportunities Initiative. The corporate coalition continues to grow. We recently welcomed Best Buy, Five Guys, and Under Armour.
We are now working with more than 50 companies and are upping the ante with a shared goal of hiring 1 million young people by 2021.
Over 12,000 veterans, transitioning service members, military spouses, and Guard and Reserve members have been hired through our partnerships and investments. We’re excited to announce that Onward to Opportunity – Veterans Career Transition Program (O2O -VCTP), our partnership with the Institute for Veterans and Military Families, the Department of Defense, and the Department of Labor, will be offering free training, professional certifications, and job placement services on 18
military installations by July 1, 2018. Other supporters of O2O-VCTP include USAA, Accenture, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Prudential, and the May and Stanley Smith Charitable Trust.
Through our partnerships and investments, the Schultz Family Foundation is working with over 150 private sector partners, who are targeting their hiring engines
to the Veteran and Opportunity Youth communities, and informing our efforts.
We developed and will be piloting The EDGE with 20,000 youth in the coming year. The EDGE is the first suite of training modules of its kind developed in partnership with Arizona State University and targeted to Opportunity Youth. The EDGE training series incorporates the experience of our private sector partners and includes interactive modules on customer service skills, financial literacy, preparing for an interview, and more.
Digital Training and Hiring
We’re meeting Opportunity Youth where they are … on their devices. In 2018, we’re introducing joblaunch.org,
a unique digital platform that puts ready-to-use training and job opportunities in their hands. This new digital
tool will help young people become job ready and link
to employment in their communities. Later this month, we are launching a four-month pilot in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, and Seattle. We expect to offer it nationwide by year end.
Through 0nward to Opportunity – Veterans Career Transition Program (O2O-VCTP), we are continuing to offer on-line, no-cost training and certification along with access to job placement services to veterans, transitioning service members, military spouses, and Guard and Reserve members.
We recognize that offering a job or educational opportunity isn’t enough. All young people need help
at times connecting the dots between their abilities and potential, their goals and their successes. We all need a village or at the very least one person who believes in
us and can help navigate unfamiliar and often complex terrain. For Opportunity Youth this kind of support is often not available. Our goal is to ensure that all young people have the support they need to take full advantage of career training, an interview, education opportunities and their first job.
Research shows that young people with mentors are more likely to succeed in school, become leaders in their communities, and enter adulthood with the tools they need to build a career. For this reason, the Schultz Family Foundation is launching a national mentorship initiative in partnership with MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership and America’s Promise to recruit, train, hire and match community and corporate mentors with young people to better enable them to fulfill their potential both in the workplace and the community.