During the course of the last municipal election, I came across a very interesting organization in the city. EMBERS helps people who are unemployed and homeless by training them, and finding them work. It quietly goes about its activities with little fanfare, but with considerable success.
Like most similar organizations, it needs to raise money, and last month, it held its inaugural EMBERS’ Against All Odds Golf Tournament Fundraiser. Sadly, I had to miss it, but more than 90 golfers enjoyed a beautiful sunny day at Tsawwassen Golf and Country Club and over $7,000 was raised. This is not a lot, compared to what many other tournaments raise, but the money will help a lot of people find work. To quote Lois Brassart, the Executive Director:
"EMBERS is all about miracles and second chances. We believe that strong individuals make strong communities and that every individual needs a strong foundation to build a secure future.
There are three basic needs we all share. We need health. We need shelter. And we need to be productive in life, to be able to contribute to a larger community. EMBERS helps people become productive again and create an income for themselves through employment. Many of the people we work with have faced major set backs and life challenges that makes it difficult for them to participate in the economic mainstream of our society. EMBERS works with people to help them create an economic future through work they love.
EMBERS has two employment programs. EMBERS Microenterprise Program works with people on low income and helps them turn their dreams and talents into small businesses. Every year EMBERS provides training and support to 75 aspiring entrepreneurs. Our other program, EMBERS Staffing Solutions, connects employers with graduates of drug and alcohol recovery programs, people starting over in life who are committed to living life clean and sober. In 18 months, EMBERS Staffing Solutions has employed more than 100 workers from the addiction recovery community, giving them a second chance in life. "
At a time when governments are spending more than $1,000 per bed per month for shelters, I would love to see more assistance given to worthwhile organizations like EMBERS. For more information, check out:
Creating Futures: Changing Lives Through Employment