Would-Works is a social enterprise designed to give men and women who are living in poverty the opportunity to work toward a specific goal.
Would-Works helps people in the U.S. who are living in poverty. We are not a charity. We are a social enterprise that offers men and women the dignity to work for specific needs. Often when someone is living in poverty, he or she is so busy addressing immediate needs that it is not possible to obtain even small items that many of us take for granted. We want to help alleviate immediate financial stress by providing a way for people to earn money for a specific goal. Eyeglasses. Dentures. A bus ticket home.
The story of Would-Works is a story of listening to people in need and coming up with a way to help. Connor Johnson started to work with people living in poverty in 2009 through a year of service with AmeriCorps. Connor met hundreds of men and women who live in the Skid Row area of downtown Los Angeles. He heard their hopes and dreams, as well as the obstacles they face. Over and over they said, “I WOULD WORK if I could.” A recession contributed to the problem. Companies weren’t hiring; funding to social service agencies was cut. Connor decided he needed to find a way to help the people he had come to know and love. He enlisted his marketing pro mother, Katherine, and together, with the help of family and friends, they created this social enterprise.
Why focus on the U.S.?
Because 1.6 million Americans are homeless every night.
Because 46.2 million Americans are living in poverty.
Why Los Angeles?
Because Connor lives there. And because every night in Skid Row 4,000-5,000 men, women and children are homeless.
What about other cities?
Big hopes and dreams have us opening in additional cities. Stay tuned.
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