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  WINDY CITY TIMES

One Roof Chicago launches youth-focused workforce development program
by Carrie Maxwell
2024-03-14

This article shared 8424 times since Thu Mar 14, 2024
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One Roof Chicago (ORC) is set to launch its first training, education and job placement program for LGBTQ+ young adults in late spring. This Community Health Workers and Elder Care program is a part of ORC's Intergenerational Project, where housing is at the center.

ORC's mission, according to its website, "is an emerging initiative to build an LGBTQ+ centered intergenerational community for older adults and young people most in need of affirming housing, meaningful connection, and career development."

ORC's goal, according to ORC Executive Director Jim Harvey "is to bring this critical service to LGBTQ+ seniors across the LGBTQ+ community and ultimately ensure that these services will also be available to residents of ORC.

The first cohort will consist of a maximum of 20 young adult participants who are looking to become certified in the rapidly growing healthcare field and eventually find work opportunities at the conclusion of the program. Additionally, ORC will be providing scholarships to each enrollee to offset the cost of participating in this program.

Participants will attend four weeks of job readiness training at Cara Collective, and then enroll in Malcolm X College's Community Health Worker and Eldercare education and certification program. The goal is for all participants to obtain apprenticeships and job placement upon completion of these education programs.

"Providing these opportunities for education and job placement for marginalized young adults is so important to raising up our community," said Harvey. "I expect a huge return on investing in young LGBTQ+ adults who deserve a chance. They represent our future."

ORC Board Co-Chair Shelton R. Watson added that, "It is not enough for ORC to provide four walls and a roof to our seniors and young adults facing housing insecurity. We are looking to improve the quality of life for not just our residents but for everyone in our community. To that end we realize that it is especially important for young adults to be given opportunities to become self-sufficient through employment opportunities where they are making a living wage.

"Through the Workforce Development program, ORC will be helping to ensure that young adults will not only have the educational qualifications to properly meet the physical needs of our LGBTQ+ seniors, but also that those seniors will be assisted by people who care for their emotional well-being [as well]."

"Having worked in home care for 15 years, I have seen how challenging it can be to find LGBTQ+ competent and affirming providers when these services are needed," said ORC Board Co-Chair Jacqueline Boyd. "Currently there is very few organizations that even screen for LGBTQ+ competency, let alone provide training or coaching to better serve our elders unique needs. We hope this service will grow over time and be available throughout Chicago to LGBTQ+ elders and people with disabilities."

See oneroofchicago.org/ and windycitytimes.com/lgbt/One-Roof-Chicago-LGBTQ-centered-intergenerational-community-in-planning-stages-announces-new-executive-director/74899.html .


This article shared 8424 times since Thu Mar 14, 2024
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