Supportive Employment Programs & Social Enterprises
Not everyone can walk in somewhere and get a job. Sometimes there are barriers like not having an ID, not having daily access to showers or clean clothing, transportation, work history, background issues, or just the challenge of living in crisis mode and being focused on daily survival.
Businesses and nonprofits each have a place in this world, but organizations that combine the two and use businesses practices to improve their community have always inspired us. In 2013, we launched our first social enterprise, a low-barrier employment program to provide opportunities and training to people experiencing homelessness. Since then our wing of social enterprises has grown as we continue to look for ways to utilize business strategies to accomplish social good.
The Curbside Chronicle is Oklahoma City's “street paper” created to provide both a voice and employment opportunities for people who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness. In addition to providing a source of income, the program works with vendors to break down barriers to traditional employment and develop time management, money management and social skills. We publish a monthly magazine that features a mix of stories featuring arts and entertainment in OKC as well as local social issues. You can purchase magazines from vendors in green vests around town.
Curbside Flowers is a traditional flower shop providing supportive employment to people transitioning out of homelessness. People can purchase beautiful bouquets year-round enabling us to teach job skills in a more conventional work environment. Curbside Flowers offers flower delivery, a retail shop to pick up bouquets and gifts, and custom event floral for weddings, galas, corporate events, and more. Flowers are beautiful, and so are people. It’s important to us that we help put a face and a name to the issue of homelessness in our community. We want people to be able to see someone beyond just the problem that they’ve experienced. Every bouquet you purchase is handmade by a vendor in our program. Each card signed by the person who made it. You help transform lives with every purchase.
Sasquatch Shaved Ice
Sasquatch Shaved Ice is a supportive employment program for youth including those who are low-income or have been involved in the foster care and juvenile justice systems. The Sasquatch Shaved Ice program is designed to help build job skills, improve financial literacy, increase high school graduation and higher education enrollment and provide a foundation for long-term financial stability and job readiness. Each employee gets a checking and savings account and takes part in a program that includes financial literacy, life skills, and trainings to prepare them for higher education or certification enrollment. Additionally, Sasquatch matches dollar-for-dollar what their employees save towards their higher education and career goals, teaching and incentivizing responsible saving and spending habits. We have stands in Bricktown and the Plaza District as well as a mobile unit for events.
Our newest supportive employment program is Curbside Apparel, a screen-printing company providing employment opportunities for people experiencing or at-risk of homelessness. Launching in May 2023, Curbside Apparel has its first crew in training and has begun to take custom shirt orders. In the future, Curbside Apparel will feature its own designs to be sold at a retail location and during special campaigns.