City Jobs is a program of the Lamb Center in partnership with the City of Fairfaxand Fairfax County. The City Jobs Program creates an employment opportunity for individuals that meets them where they are and seeks to empower them to reach their greatest employment potential. Here are some key points about this “Transitional Work Program” and what it offers our guests:
- The program pays 20 individuals $10 an hour for working from 8am to 12pm two days a week.
- We work with the Fairfax City Department of Parks and Recreation. We do labor in the city parks. We have done a lot of leaf removal, snow removal, landscaping and others tasks as assigned.
- The City of Fairfax has $60,000 allocated in their annual budget to help fund this program.
- On October 2nd2019, the Fairfax County Litter Clean-Up Pilot began. It doubled our number of workers with an opportunity to clean-up litter near waterways in order to help cleaner water enter into the Chesapeake Bay. New Hope Housing, an agency operating in eastern Fairfax County, also joined this endeavor.
- The way the program functions is similar to day labor programs but a big difference is that once an individual receives one of the 10 spots, they are able to keep that spot so long as they show up for work on time. If a worker does not show up on time for work and fails to communicate their absence they lose their active spotand are placed on the bottom of the waiting list.
- At the end of each workday, each active worker is asked if they plan to come on the next upcoming workday. They are allowed to decline without any penalty but then lose their active spot on the roster and are placed on the waiting list.
- There are currently approximately 100 individuals registered for the program and many individuals are eager to work as soon as an opening is available. For this reason, this program is not open to anyone except for Lamb Center guests at this time. We do hope that we will expand in the future and allow for others outside of the Lamb Center to be able to join.
- The goal of the program is to help individuals graduate to a full-time or part time job in conjunction with housing opportunities. We look to engage any individual including those who are struggling with mental illness, intellectual disabilities, addiction and/or a criminal record.
- Once an individual has worked ten work days in a row, a recommendation letter is written for them to give to prospective employers. Once graduated, they understand that their conduct as an employee impacts the reputation of the program and the opportunity for future workers to gain employment.
- So far, we have had twelve workers graduate and move on to other employment opportunities.
CITY JOBS IN THE MEDIA
*City Jobs was inspired by a program in Albuquerque, NM called “There’s a Better Way.”