Many of the residents at Open House Ministries need help developing or re-learning basic work skills, or building a resume’ and assistance finding employment. Residents work with their Case Manager and an on-site job coach to address employment-related issues.
Employment Basics: Residents learn how to build a resume, how to interview for a job, resume’ building, and exploration of school and job opportunities.
On-site Job Coaching
Residents who qualify may apply to the Job Coaching and Career Preparedness Program conducted at the four retail shops on the Open House Campus: the Second Hand Solutions Thrift Store and Coffee Shop, Wheel Deals Bike Shop and the Clothing Annex. There, through one-on-one coaching with store managers, adults are coached in basic job skills and learn accountability in a vibrant and busy retail environment. At the Wheel Deals Bike Shop, residents receive bike mechanic training, retail skills and inventory management. At the Thrift Stores, residents learn merchandising, research and retail skills, while others receive barista training at the coffee shop. The retail shops at Open House Ministries serve the shelter in many ways by providing essential job skills training to residents to prepare them for employment when they leave the shelter. At the same time, the stores provide an outlet to repurpose high quality donations received at the shelter while the proceeds of the stores help to support the Open House shelter.
Basic Computer Skills
Residents are encouraged to utilize on-site computers to learn the basics of the Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel and Internet Explorer) to add to their experience and resume. Adults enrolled in the Job Coaching Program also receive hands on computer experience in a retail setting. Some candidates continue with more specialized training on other software systems that can be helpful skills for attaining employment.
Nutrition and Food Basics for Families
Through a program with AmeriCorps and Open House volunteers, residents meet once a week to learn basic nutrition, practical culinary skills for their family, and safe food handling. The students also receives instruction to help them obtain food handlers certification for employment in food-related jobs.
Every adult resident is required to “Give Back” community service hours each week. Working within the shelter and with outside collaborative partners, residents give back to the community by providing services to the elderly, disabled, local businesses, non-profit organizations, and through participating in our Adopt-A-Highway project.