L.A. stories of inspiration and success

L.A. stories of inspiration and success

LA:RISE participant Deshanae was on the brink of homelessness, now she is employed full-time with a local non-profit organization
An LA:RISE Success Story

Before joining LA:RISE, Deshanae struggled with finding and keeping a job, leading her to the brink of homelessness. Today, she is employed full-time as a transportation coordinator at the social enterprise New Earth.

"The benefits of being connected to a program like LA:RISE made me want to become involved. I was most excited about the possible future job opportunities I would have access to," she said. "Also, the possibility of finding permanent employment and enhancing life skills along with building interpersonal skills."

Deshanae received comprehensive training in workplace communication strategies, de-escalation tools and time management. At New Earth, Deshanae works with youth ages 13-25, many of whom are justice-involved.

"Due to my training at New Earth, I was to secure full-time employment and I am very proud of that accomplishment. I am most proud of the impact of my work and how we are able to break barriers with our youth."

LA:RISE also provided child care support for Deshanae's small child, which eased her worries and allowed her to be fully present at her job. Now, she can pay her bills on time. Her advice for future LA:RISE participants?

"Keep striving to be the best version of you, and to never stop believing in yourself. Keep going to your version of greatness."

Los Angeles Regional Initiative for Social Enterprise (LA:RISE)
A Social Enterprise Solution to Help the At-Risk Join the Workforce
LA:RISE logo - block lettering with a sunset gradient under an outline of the downtown LA city skyline
The Los Angeles City Council recently approved Mayor Karen Bass' City budget, which includes $1.3 billion to address the City's homelessness crisis. Since 2015, EWDD has been a leadership partner in the LA Regional Initiative for Social Enterprises (LA:RISE).

The program is an innovative, collaborative partnership that unites the City and County of LA's Workforce Development Systems with non-profit social enterprises and for-profit employers to help individuals with high barriers to employment get good jobs and stay employed. The program offers youth or individuals previously homeless or incarcerated an opportunity to receive job training, then a transitional job, to permanent employment. Deshanae's story above exemplifies how the LA:RISE program can help participants improve their situations through stable and secure employment.

This story is part of the EWDD UPDATES from the week of May 22, 2023. Read this issue and more.