Housing Group’s Social Enterprise Launches Anew as Solutions SF

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A division of the San Francisco nonprofit Community Housing Partnership, newly branded Solutions SF, will build on its three years of success providing jobs for those who have endured homelessness. With three business lines - lobby staffing, maintenance and bed bug solutions - the social enterprise repositions itself with a new leader and a fresh identity to continue providing jobs and training for some of the hardest to employ members of society.

Previously homeless individuals in San Francisco who hope to secure jobs got a boost today as leading nonprofit Community Housing Partnership announced the re-launch of its employment training and job placement social enterprise. Solutions SF, formerly known as CHP-Enterprises, will build on its three-years of successfully providing jobs for some of the hardest to employ members of society as it repositions itself with a new leader, a fresh brand identity and more opportunities than ever for both customers and employees. With its three business lines, Solutions SF not only employs those who have endured homelessness, but also generates earned revenue for Community Housing Partnership, the enterprise’s affiliate nonprofit that builds permanent, affordable housing with support services for formerly homeless individuals and families.

Solutions SF’s new director, Laurie Bernstein, says she will bring her years of executive-level corporate experience, as well as her recent workforce development accomplishments with Goodwill Industries, to ensure Solutions SF’s continued dynamic growth. “With its foundation firmly established and with its new identity and structure, Solutions SF is well-positioned to appeal to a wider range of customers,” noted Bernstein. “Not only do our business lines deliver solutions for customers –providing lobby staffing, maintenance and bed bug solutions – but we also offer a tangible solution to a difficult problem; helping those who have lived on the street to re-engage in society, with a job and a caring community.”

Under its previous brand, Solutions SF had already distinguished itself as a model with real impact. Having employed over 100 individuals in its three years in operation at the height of the recession, the social venture’s approach to employing those who face multiple barriers to employment was successful. Solutions SF aims to continue that success record, with plans to hire 10 more staff members to its current base, resulting in a workforce of 50.

Solutions SF is staffing up to respond to the growing demand for its offerings. With thousands of buildings in San Francisco, the need for effective property management services continues to increase, virtually unaffected by the economic downturn. The social venture consistently has built its customer base since its original launch three years ago, serving over a dozen buildings. Solutions SF also attracts increased interest largely due to the specific social benefit of its business model. The social enterprise movement nationwide is addressing major community challenges by delivering new and effective responses to previously intractable problems. Solutions SF is among a select number of social enterprises throughout the country to receive federal funding from the Office of Community Services and from the White House’s Social Innovation Fund.

Solutions SF’s Scott Wafrock works as a front desk clerk and participated in Solutions SF’s on-the-job training. Scott said “After being on disability for so long, I finally felt strong enough to get back to work. Having this job has really turned my life around. When I wake up, it gives me a reason to get out of bed. I feel proud about the work I do. This job has even helped me to finally go home after a long time and visit my family in Florida.”

Solutions SF, was founded originally in 2007 as CHP-Enterprises to parlay Community Housing Partnership’s extensive property management experience into effective services for property owners and managers. Solutions SF supports housing supervisors and property managers all across San Francisco by offering outsourced lobby staffing solutions, maintenance solutions and bed bug remediation solutions.

A portion of Solutions SF employees have previously experienced homelessness and are returning to the workforce upon obtaining housing. These individuals have been thoroughly trained and evaluated as being ready to excel at their work responsibilities. In addition to recruiting and training employees, they provide ongoing support as employees transition back into the workplace and continue their success. To learn more, visit http://www.solutionssf.org

Formed in 1990 by people who had been homeless, advocates for the homeless and affordable housing developers, Community Housing Partnership is a San Francisco-based nonprofit organization that develops and operates permanent supportive housing for formerly homeless people. Community Housing Partnership currently serves nearly 2,000 people per year through housing, services, job training, leadership development and employment programs. Community Housing Partnership currently owns and/or operates 12 housing sites that serve formerly homeless adults and families and has three new projects in the pipeline. Community Housing Partnership also engages in community and economic development through its certified job training programs, a community organizing project and a social enterprise that employs formerly homeless adults. Community Housing Partnership recently launched the Treatment and Supportive Housing Program, an outpatient substance abuse and mental health treatment program to assist its tenants who struggle with those issues. For more information about Community Housing Partnership, please visit http://www.chp-sf.org.


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Maureen Futtner
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