Saffron Strand: Getting the homeless back to work
Saffron Strand, Inc. is a young Richmond-based, nondenominational, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization which focuses on getting West Contra Costa homeless residents back to work. Using a unique volunteer membership approach, Saffron Strand builds the job and social skills of local homeless adults so they can achieve and sustain gainful employment and economic independence. Highlights of Saffron Strand success so far:
● June 2009 debut of job-readiness services at Project Homeless Connect 4 in Richmond, including volunteer services of salon professionals from 12 businesses to provide haircuts, manicures, and other personal care and wellness services to more than 100 homeless people
● Volunteer service at the Hot Meal Ministry in Richmond to help provide breakfast to more than 50 local homeless people
● Membership in the National Health Care for the Homeless Council (www.nhchc.org), a leading resource for research and technical assistance on homelessness issues
● December 2009 opening of Saffron Strand’s new office in professional office space at 124A Washington Avenue, Point Richmond, with job and work-related social skills training for homeless adults.
Funds raised through donations from collaborative events, such as our recent Chocolate & Beer Festival, go toward expanding Saffron Strand’s mission of achieving employment-focused solutions to homelessness.
Saffron Strand also has a professional and public education component, which includes West Contra Costa’s first conference on homelessness, scheduled for May 10th at the Craneway Pavilion.
The First Annual Saffron Strand Conference -- “Bridges Out of Homelessness: Vocations, Health and Housing” – features local, regional, and nationally-recognized speakers to engage local stakeholders in developing new solutions for homelessness in Richmond and other West County communities. The Conference offers continuing education credits and attracts professionals whose work involves homeless persons, including medical and emergency personnel, government and nonprofit agency staff, law enforcement and judicial authorities, and others. Homelessness impacts many public health, safety, and economic issues, so concerned members of the public also are welcome to attend.
Contra Costa College and Richmond Works and the City of Richmond are co-sponsors of the Conference, which will help turn Richmond’s challenges into opportunities. This new event will attract new visitors, generate new business, and boost community energy and civic pride.