Organization Profile
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Solutions at Work, Cambridge, Massachusetts

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Web:
Address: 1151 Mass. Ave.
Cambridge, Massachusetts  02138  
United States
Fax: 617-492-1284
Is 501(c)(3) nonprofit certified by the IRS?: Yes
Number of Volunteers Serving Nationally: 1000
Number of People Being Served: 3000
EIN: 04-3262577
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Mission Statement


Solutions at Work helps break the economic chains of homelessness by providing participants with paid employment, tangible resources, and other support essential for independent living. We meet needs as defined by the people we assist, and our programs most of which are unavailable elsewhere, are designed, led, and staffed by people who have experienced homelessness. Their personal perspectives and experiences with the reality of homelessness drive the mission and programs of Solutions at Work. Mission Solutions at Work empowers people who have experienced homelessness to work together in defining the problems faced while homeless and to partner with other members of the community to develop and implement solutions to these problems. To accomplish these goals Solutions will: Determine services needed in the community and assure that these services are designed by, governed by, and provide employment for those who use them. Break the economic chains of homelessness and poverty by creating a network of opportunities and developing businesses that employ people moving away from homelessness. Provide opportunities and training for people to address the issues and determine policies that effect homelessness. Provide support for people reestablishing themselves within the community. Solutions at Work provides resources and incentives to empower people to become self-reliant by developing the skills necessary to have productive and fulfilling lives. We support our homeless and formerly homeless neighbors in their fundamental right to pursue lives of dignity and comfort.

Description


Solutions at Work is a Cambridge-based non-profit organization founded in 1989. Since our founding, Solutions programs have helped more than 75,000 people in the greater Boston area. We began as a grass roots group of homeless individuals volunteering our time. We remain true to those roots. The philosophy that led twenty homeless individuals to the creation of Solutions at Work continues in place today: We believe in approaching problems identified by homeless and low-income people by offering real, tangible solutions. Our participants have an active voice in the design and implementation of the programs set up to meet their needs. Solutions at Work offers tools to help families and individuals stabilize their lives, whether that means successfully moving out of homelessness or transitioning to a safer living situation or having paid on-the-job training. We focus on providing services in an empowering atmosphere, which enhances the leadership skills and work experience of our employees, participants, and volunteers. The majority of our programs are built upon recycling high-quality items that would otherwise be discarded or sold. Since 1989 we have given more than 75,000 families items worth well over five million dollars in aggregate ? things that they would otherwise have had to purchase: furniture and household furnishings, clothing, computers, bicycles, and cars. Our programs are: -Children's Clothing Exchange:Provides free clothes, shoes, books, baby furniture, and toys. Our unique barter service allows families to donate outgrown children's clothing in exchange for high-quality gently-used clothing in appropriate sizes. The program is a resource for all families without regard to income, and the participants come from more than 32 communities in greater Boston. -SolutionsWear: Provides free interview-appropriate clothing for men and women with a focus on people moving out of homelessness, in job training programs or those recently released from incarceration. -Get Connected!: Repairs high-quality donated computers and gives them to people who have been homeless. Our Resource Center provides training in the use of computer technology as well as free access to computers, the Internet, a scanner, a phone, and a fax. Our new Tech Center provides the space to do computer repairs as well as a place for workshops to help our computer recipients understand their computer hardware. -Moving Up Provides low-cost moving services to people moving out of homelessness and to those living in extreme poverty. Many local agencies hire us to move their clients. We use our programs to provide paid on-the-job training to help people transition back into the mainstream working world. At Solutions, people learn their work skills by helping us to provide our direct services. They become a critical part of the greater Boston safety net. Transitional employees are trained and supervised by program managers who have been where they are and have a personal understanding of the barriers they are facing. In addition to the direct service programs, through Speak Up!, we also conduct education sessions about homelessness for schools, colleges, faith communities and companies. Our focus is on challenging the stereotypical view of homelessness. The goal of these sessions is to have a dialogue with our audience, where people learn not only factual information, but have the chance to hear directly from people who have experienced homelessness. We were honored by the Cambridge Chamber of Commerce as their Small Business of the Year in 2000. Solutions at Work's award-winning work has been featured on the Today Show, CNN&Time, Oxygen Media, in People magazine, and the HUD quarterly Shelterforce.

Solutions at Work is a Cambridge-based non-profit organization founded in 1989. Since our founding, Solutions programs have helped more than 75,000 people in the greater Boston area. We began as a grass roots group of homeless individuals volunteering our time. We remain true to those roots. The philosophy that led twenty homeless individuals to the creation of Solutions at Work continues in place today: We believe in approaching problems identified by homeless and low-income people by offering real, tangible solutions. Our participants have an active voice in the design and implementation of the programs set up to meet their needs. Solutions at Work offers tools to help families and individuals stabilize their lives, whether that means successfully moving out of homelessness or transitioning to a safer living situation or having paid on-the-job training. We focus on providing services in an empowering atmosphere, which enhances the leadership skills and work experience of our employees, participants, and volunteers. The majority of our programs are built upon recycling high-quality items that would otherwise be discarded or sold. Since 1989 we have given more than 75,000 families items worth well over five million dollars in aggregate ? things that they would otherwise have had to purchase: furniture and household furnishings, clothing, computers, bicycles, and cars. Our programs are: -Children's Clothing Exchange:Provides free clothes, shoes, books, baby furniture, and toys. Our unique barter service allows families to donate outgrown children's clothing in exchange for high-quality gently-used clothing in appropriate sizes. The program is a resource for all families without regard to income, and the participants come from more than 32 communities in greater Boston. -SolutionsWear: Provides free interview-appropriate clothing for men and women with a focus on people moving out of homelessness, in job training programs or those recently released from incarceration. -Get Connected!: Repairs high-quality donated computers and gives them to people who have been homeless. Our Resource Center provides training in the use of computer technology as well as free access to computers, the Internet, a scanner, a phone, and a fax. Our new Tech Center provides the space to do computer repairs as well as a place for workshops to help our computer recipients understand their computer hardware. -Moving Up Provides low-cost moving services to people moving out of homelessness and to those living in extreme poverty. Many local agencies hire us to move their clients. We use our programs to provide paid on-the-job training to help people transition back into the mainstream working world. At Solutions, people learn their work skills by helping us to provide our direct services. They become a critical part of the greater Boston safety net. Transitional employees are trained and supervised by program managers who have been where they are and have a personal understanding of the barriers they are facing. In addition to the direct service programs, through Speak Up!, we also conduct education sessions about homelessness for schools, colleges, faith communities and companies. Our focus is on challenging the stereotypical view of homelessness. The goal of these sessions is to have a dialogue with our audience, where people learn not only factual information, but have the chance to hear directly from people who have experienced homelessness. We were honored by the Cambridge Chamber of Commerce as their Small Business of the Year in 2000. Solutions at Work's award-winning work has been featured on the Today Show, CNN&Time, Oxygen Media, in People magazine, and the HUD quarterly Shelterforce.

Mission Statement: Solutions at Work helps break the economic chains of homelessness by providing participants with paid employment, tangible resources, and other support essential for independent living. We meet needs as defined by the people we assist, and our programs most of which are unavailable elsewhere, are designed, led, and staffed by people who have experienced homelessness. Their personal perspectives and experiences with the reality of homelessness drive the mission and programs of Solutions at Work. Mission Solutions at Work empowers people who have experienced homelessness to work together in defining the problems faced while homeless and to partner with other members of the community to develop and implement solutions to these problems. To accomplish these goals Solutions will: Determine services needed in the community and assure that these services are designed by, governed by, and provide employment for those who use them. Break the economic chains of homelessness and poverty by creating a network of opportunities and developing businesses that employ people moving away from homelessness. Provide opportunities and training for people to address the issues and determine policies that effect homelessness. Provide support for people reestablishing themselves within the community. Solutions at Work provides resources and incentives to empower people to become self-reliant by developing the skills necessary to have productive and fulfilling lives. We support our homeless and formerly homeless neighbors in their fundamental right to pursue lives of dignity and comfort.

Local Affiliation



Program Type:


Homeless Program

Do you Require Formal Orientation Training?


No