Homeless Employment and Jobs Training Programs in Action

In February 2020, the Lucky Duck Foundation launched a region-wide homeless employment and jobs training initiative. The intent of the program is to hire and train people experiencing homelessness to enable them secure long-term employment. The successful initiative allows for the deployment much-needed funding to existing and new employment programs to enable individuals to receive training and employment with the ultimate goal of securing housing to break the cycle of homelessness.

More than 500 participants are expected to benefit from many different employment and job training programs. Take a look at a few of people that are being offered a hand up through these programs.

Kitchens for Good believes that food changes lives and that all food has power and that all people have potential. They equip individuals with culinary and hospitality training, as well as the life skills needed to launch meaningful careers and make a positive impact on their communities. Apprentices gain valuable training and contribute to bettering their community by fighting food waste and hunger. Apprentices prepare thousands of healthy meals for hungry San Diegans, using surplus and cosmetically imperfect produce from wholesalers and farmers.


]The mission of Dreams for Change is to respond to the needs of communities by creating innovative and cost-effective programs to empower and stabilize the lives of underserved families and individuals. The Dream’s Cuisine program provides workforce training through food trucks. They have three food trucks currently serving the community, two of which designed to sell meal options to low-income seniors and people experiencing homelessness. Dreams for Change believes that Communities thrive when people have the tools they need to build assets and create financial stability.

The Wheels of Change program empowers residents, builds self-esteem and provides meaningful transitional employment, while giving back to the community. Teams work 5 days a week to provide community clean ups including litter pick up, weed and brush abatement, and other community enhancement projects. Participants work closely with shelter case managers and housing navigators to access other wrap-around services. The program was initially launched locally by teenager, Kevin Barber, and his mom, Carolyn Barber, MD, in early 2018. They were inspired after visiting a similar program in New Mexico and believed it could be equally successful in San Diego. The Wheels of Change expansion in 2019 increased the program from one to two vans and expanded the crew from 10 to 20 individuals.

You Can Support These Homeless Employment Programs

The program was initially made possible by an anonymous $1 million gift arranged by Una Davis and will rely on donor support to in order to continue and expand. If you are interested in supporting this initiative, please visit our donation page. To stay in the know about programs like this, sign up for our newsletter and follow us on social with the links below.

Together, we can ensure the well-being of our unsheltered neighbors while helping them move from the streets to shelter, housing, and a healthier place in life.


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