I love this story. I adore this story. I want everyone to read this story in full. How often do we get to bring you a report that is this heartwarming and positive?
Not to mention a report that should drive some Republicans crazy. Why? Because a socially responsible L.A. man with a whole lot of compassion, patience, trust, and smarts went out of his way to employ people who the GOP presidential candidate wouldn’t touch with a ten-foot dressage riding crop.
Those people would be the very ones who many GOP governors and legislators are just aching to prevent from voting: The poor, the homeless, the uneducated, former criminals, or those fighting battles with addiction, and often winning.
Too bad they don’t care one whit about the very people they claim to want to lead.
But back to the uplifting tale of a guy who knows what it means to be productive and humanitarian, open-minded and enterprising by insourcing… from Skid Row.
In staffing his organic-oriented Fresco Community Market in Montecito Heights early last year, Jon Murga looked for employees in an unlikely place: skid row.
He hired 11 people then and one this month through a job development program at the Los Angeles Mission. Most were trying to stay off drugs, alcohol or both as they struggled to exit the ranks of the homeless. Some were trying to put criminal convictions in the past. [...]
He tries to find jobs for those who go through the program’s rehabilitation process, tapping his database of as many as 100 businesses. But to employers, his folks carry the stigma of homelessness, often lack a formal education and have a spotty work history and sometimes a criminal record.
He went to the L.A. Mission with the intent of hiring people. He sought them out. One was a fiftysomething woman who, after “20 years of being lost” and who ended up with a felony drug conviction, “came to my senses.” Now she says, “Life is good.”
Life is now good for someone who many would have chalked up as a lost cause.
Jon Murga is in the business of improving lives while improving his own… along with building his business. Imagine that. Contributing to his community as he encourages and changes attitudes and fortunes.
His store gives back to the community “in the form of charitable donations and a commitment to hire those most in need.”
We the people. We, not Me. That’s change we can believe in.
As part of his business plan, Murga created a charitable foundation to funnel part of his profits to local church and school programs. And he went to the Los Angeles Mission to hire workers, who now account for a quarter of his staff and earn $10 to $15 an hour.
Yeah, yeah, but can those Murga hires hold a job, you may be wondering?
Allen Ceravolo, who runs the mission’s career center, says yes. About two-thirds have hung on to their jobs for at least a year. Only three of the initial 11 hired by Fresco have left.
The ones who remain are outstanding employees, and one has become a manager, Murga said. “There’s a gratitude, a humbleness.”
“I believe we have the business model for tomorrow in retail,” Murga said. If so, that would really be a move in the right direction, or as President Obama has put it, “forward” and “yes we can.”
Or as I like to call it, pro-life.
Please read the entire article here.