Equal Employment Opportunities… Fact or Fiction???

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All of us at HELP Foundation are unpaid volunteers. We don’t do what we do because of money (or fame!)… We do it because we truly care about our friends and peers, and we want the people we help to have happy, healthy, independent and productive lives.

That said, we’d like to share with you some eye-opening statistics that may help explain why one of the most difficult issues we encounter is finding meaningful, stable employment for the people we serve.

The total population of Marin County is approx. 255,000 people – and according to 2011-2012 California Health Interview Survey & the UCLA Center for Health & Policy Research, 35,000 (i.e. 14%) of Marin residents are faced with a physical, mental or emotional condition that qualifies them as “ability-challenged”. As veterans return from the ongoing wars, this population is expected to greatly increase in the next 20 years.

Nationwide, over 65% of ability-challenged working age adults are unemployed, and those who find work earn wages 33% below the poverty level.

In Marin County, 115,000 of all residents have steady, full-time jobs – but only 5,000 of ability-challenged people are employed. Does that mean that the remaining 30,000 ability-challenged people in Marin are unable or unwilling to work? NOT AT ALL!!!

In fact, employees who are ability-challenged have been consistently proven to rate average or above average in performance, quality of work, flexibility and attendance. We serve many ability-challenged people who would LOVE the opportunity to earn a living, contribute to society and feel like they are equal & valuable community members. The problem is not that ability-challenged people are unwilling to work – the problem is that vast majority of employers are unwilling to hire them!

We feel it’s time to start a community engagement campaign to bring awareness and understanding to the often marginalized issue of equal employment opportunities for ability-challenged people. Our goal is to educate employers, motivate business owners, inspire the community and help create much needed & wanted jobs for our ability-challenged friends.

We hope to see you all at our FREE event on November 13, 2014 at Marin JCC that will include a community screening of a great documentary “A Whole Lott More” (www.awholelottmore.com) – an inspiring and eye-opening film about employment issues facing ability-challenged people.

In addition to showing you a great film (and stimulating your sense of social consciousness), we will:

  • Feed you a great dinner

  • Offer you a variety of beverages (including wine, beer, artisan-roasted coffee & specialty teas)

  • Let you listen to (and dance if you want to!) Bay Area’s singer & songwriter Kurt Huget (www.kurthuget.com)

  • Guarantee that you will LOL when our MC (and one of HELP Foundation’s esteemed directors) Mike Pritchard takes the stage and leads you on a wild ride filled with jokes, anecdotes and though-provoking commentary on “life & living” :)

  • Let you win fabulous prizes when you buy a raffle ticket (some of the prizes are: 2-night stay at Silverado Resort in Napa, VIP tickets to NASCAR at Sonoma Raceway, 2-night stay at Atlantis Casino in Reno, one-month family pass to YMCA, symphony & theater tickets, gift certificates to Sol Food, Marin Brewing Co. & many other wonderful local eateries…)

Did we mention that all of the above (well, with the exception of the raffle tickets) are completely FREE to all?!? So please join us for a “Night Out for a Good Cause” on Thursday, November 13th at the Marin JCC in San Rafael!

Hope to see y’all there! :)

#helpfoundation #unemployment #awholelottmore

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