Social enterprise businesses offer an approach to employment that leverages the power of the public marketplace to provide real-world job experiences for their employees. For those who are not ready for private sector employment or cannot secure a job due to criminal history, working in a supportive employment environment can help nurture skills needed to obtain successful outside employment. It can also provide potential employers with a consistent work history with supervisory evaluations and references. As an added benefit, the earned revenue gained by the nonprofit organization through a social enterprise reduces the burden on public and private philanthropy to fulfill this need.
Work is central to a healthy and productive life as well as vital to a functioning economy. Palm Beach County’s labor force is composed of 620,000 individuals either actively employed or seeking employment. In June of 2012, over 57,000 people willing and able to work in our community remained unemployed. Among this group of job seekers are many who face significant barriers to private sector employment, including: a history of drug or alcohol abuse, homelessness, a criminal background, disability or mental illness. For these individuals, securing meaningful employment can be an elusive final step in the long journey toward independence and self-sufficiency.
The Lord’s Place Social Enterprise businesses aim is to create jobs for individuals with significant barriers to employment. Our vision is to create a supportive environment where anyone willing to work can find meaningful employment and achieve independence. The Lord’s Place operates two social enterprise businesses: The Lord’s Place Joshua Catering Company and Joshua Thrift Store. Both of these ventures’ primary purpose is to create meaningful employment opportunities for our clients and further their journey toward independent and self-sufficient lives.