For a decade, Denver-based nonprofit CrossPurpose has helped more than 600 people climb out of poverty and into well-paying jobs. In celebration of its 10th anniversary, the organization is launching The Neighborhood, which aims to bring together a community of monthly donors committed to abolishing poverty in metro-Denver.
“At CrossPurpose, every student is a leader preparing to make an impact on their community. In our six-month program, they learn new personal and professional skills, earn certifications for new careers, and graduate once they’ve landed a new job,” says CrossPurpose Chief Development Officer Casey Johns. “We provide the program at no cost to the participants and provide a monthly stipend, which has proven to be key in helping people achieve their goal of living independently and self-sufficiently.”
CrossPurpose is helping people like Kenneth Cobbin receive skills training. After serving three decades in prison, Cobbin completed the six-month program after his release and now owns a successful business, which trains service dogs.
“Denver’s most vulnerable residents aren’t living in poverty because our city’s short on opportunity,” says Johns. “They’re living in poverty because they lack the connections to a path to a better career. This is where our team helps by linking those desiring better opportunities to skills training and a network of support.”
Career tracks include trades and construction, medical, administrative and technical, culinary services and commercial driver’s licenses (CDL). Darnell Smith earned a CDL thanks to the program and is now earning a solid monthly income and modeling a new way of life for his family. “CrossPurpose has put me on a path to reducing gang violence, securing stable employment and creating generational wealth for my family,” Smith said.
To kick start The Neighborhood campaign, a generous donor pledged a $100,000 match to challenge the community to give.
“For every dollar raised, our funders see a $6.45 social return on investment,” Johns said. “The campaign is about neighbors helping neighbors, and it’s just the beginning of truly addressing poverty here in the metro-area,” she said.
Those that have completed CrossPurpose’s six-month program experience significant wage increases thanks to the 200 businesses across the metro-area that employ graduates. Many of these businesses are seeking to fill middle-skill positions within the career tracks CrossPurpose offers.
Founder and CEO Jason Janz personally experienced poverty growing up and created CrossPurpose with the mission of helping those struggling in the community by removing barriers to employment.
“Seventy-two percent of our graduates are minorities and many are learning how to live self-sufficiently after leaving incarceration, homelessness or traumatic situations. Our goal is to truly make an impact by linking those in need to job skills training and peer support. Our data shows our programming is working, and we need the ongoing support from neighbors to abolish poverty and continue on our mission,” Janz said.
The Neighborhood support will help expand service locations, offer additional career tracks, and train another 1,300 adults.