When Urban Ventures launched CityKid Java nearly 15 years ago in Minneapolis, the community development nonprofit was just hoping to generate some extra revenue outside the common mix of individual donations, corporate giving and foundation grants.
One of my first jobs in human services was at a Clubhouse, a local community center that provides individuals diagnosed with serious mental illness with opportunities to build meaningful relationships that support them in obtaining employment, education and housing.
A friend of mine is a mental health and substance use disorder counselor for youth. Let’s call her Lisa. Lisa has a master’s degree in social work and has been working with youth for more than five years. She loves her job.
“I thought my life was coming to an end. Oh my God, he’s a good kid,” said Geselle Colón, recounting the story of her son being sent into juvenile detention in Columbus, Georgia. But what happened next was life-changing.
While the U.S. is on track to have one of its best years for job growth in 2016 since the Great Recession, our labor market is still failing the 5.5 million 16- to 24-year-olds who are unemployed and not in school.