“87% of consumer believe that business needs to place an equal weight on society’s interest as it does its own business interest. Not only do they want their jobs to have meaning but they want the businesses that they interact with as consumers to have meaning”. ~ Haley Boehning
Freedom a la Cart is a social enterprise here in Columbus, helping to provide a working environment that helps victims of human trafficking develop the skills they need to succeed.
“We’re not here to help people to survive – they survived without us. We’re here to give them tools that will help empower them to succeed.” — Nadia Kasvin
Brook Kohn and Nathali Bertran brought their frustration with the DACA application process to the Columbus Give Back Hack — and put together a team, a wireframe, and a prototype and over a weekend for a platform that will ease the process for dreamers applying for DACA.
Jay Clouse brings together talented individuals, entrepreneurs, and freelancers into the Unreal Collective for a 12-week program that helps them take their project to the next level. So what is the Unreal Collective?
So it started right at the end of 2008, which was the start of the Great Recession. We became concerned that nonprofits were facing unfavorable year ends with giving decreasing, so we decided to step in… and basically help non-profits generate revenue streams.
Kenny Sipes started the Roosevelt Coffeehouse in 2013 to make a social impact. The idea was simple: build a coffeehouse where the profits can support causes where they could make a difference: water, hunger, and human trafficking.
When you walk around Columbus, one population you don’t encounter are the homeless, but they are here behind the backdrop of the city. The organization Star House reaches out to specifically help those who are between the ages of 14 to 24 and don’t have permanent housing. Star house offers a safe place, providing these homeless youth with access to food and basic needs, showers, resources, and counseling. Not only are they the only research-based drop-in center in the country, but they are also launching a social enterprise to help this vulnerable population get the support they need to get on their feet.
For episode 21, I sat down with Ann Bischoff, CEO of Star House to learn more about their mission and understand better the homeless youth they serve, and some of the challenges they face.
The Four Pillars of Stability
Ann described the four pillars that people need in order to have stability – housing, transportation, jobs and support from others. Without any one of these pillars, then the others fall apart.
Without transportation or stable housing, it’s hard to get a job. And without a job, you can’t get housing or afford transportation. Without support from others, then dealing with the complexities of the three other pillars can be paralyzing. It’s a catch-22.
It’s a catch-22.
This is why Star House exists – to help set these pillars up, in a way that they’re not going to just collapse after a short period of time.
Understand What You Don’t See
I think Ann really explained it well that you can drive from the suburbs downtown to work, and never see the epidemic of homelessness in Columbus. I’m so glad of the work that Star House is done, but it’s so clear that there is so much more to do.
If you want to explore the conversation further, The Columbus Metropolitan Club is having a talk at noon on November 29th about the Unexpected Face of Homelessness: Teens on the Street to explore this topic further. It’s down at the Boat House at Confluence Park, and you can find more on columbusmetroclub.org.
If you would like to find out more about Star House, then visit starhousecolumbus.org, or follow them on Facebook at fb.com/starhousecolumbus. And, winter is here – if you have spare warm jackets, clothing, blankets or tents for the winter – make a donation!!
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