Chicago House and Social Service Agency
The proposed Chicago House AmeriCorps project will serve low-income adults living with HIV through job training and mentoring in order to help these individuals seek and secure stable employment. The project will use AmeriCorps members as mentors that work directly with the clients/interns at Chicago House's social enterprise, Sweet Miss Giving's Bakery.
The job training program is part of the Increasing Individual Income and Independence Employment Program (iFour), which was launched in 2005 in response to the needs of unemployed and low-income, HIV+ men and women. Each year, there are over 2,000 new HIV cases reported in Chicago, and many of these individuals are affected by poverty and homeless. The iFour Employment Program and its transitional jobs program at Sweet Miss Giving's help these clients develop the professional skills and gain employment experience that allows them to secure a living wage job, thus reducing their dependence on government programs.
The AmeriCorps team will work with the client/interns at Sweet Miss Giving's Bakery, ensuring the clients receive more personalized support and guidance during their six-month internship at the bakery. Through this project, the iFour Employment Program will be able to increase job placement and job retention rates of the clients who complete the transitional jobs program.