Victory Mission recently launched a coffee packaging and distribution service that doubles as a social enterprise. The program helps Victory have a sustainable budget throughout the year, as opposed to relying on stretching the usual fourth quarter donations over the entire year, while helping participants get their lives back on track and learn valuable skills.
Through the Restoration Program, Victory Mission’s coffee enterprise, known as For Victory, A Coffee Company, is equipping men with past life struggles with real world job skills. The program gives them a second chance at a better life. Participants in Victory’s Restoration Program package and deliver locally roasted coffee and learn essential job skills like punctuality, having a good attitude and being teachable. They also learn about the inner workings of running a business, including reading profit and loss statements and inventory control by playing The Great Game of Business.
Jason Hynson, executive director of Victory Mission says the social enterprises are incubators for workforce development. “We’ve seen value with our other social enterprises,” he says. “Having that base of coffee subscribers, income, revenue and cash flow to support all our operations is incredibly important. Victory is about engagement and empowerment, so why not get our guys who are transforming their lives involved.”
For Victory is the newest Victory Social Enterprise and while it has supported only a few individuals in its inaugural year, the idea is to have multiple participants at the same time in the very near future. The current participant, Noah Huskey, who is an ex-convict, is being groomed to help manage the program. The newest partnership is with downtown church The Well. Huskey will assist the church in running The Well Coffee Shop. This new collaboration will allow Huskey to lead and train new Victory Restoration participants.
“Victory Mission really gave me a second chance,” says Huskey. “Coming out of prison, the odds are just stacked against you. I didn’t know what to expect going into this year long program, but it’s really changed my life. They realized my willingness to change and gave me the opportunity. I’m still kind of dumbfounded at what it’s done for me and where it’s going.”
Hynson mentions that there are many ways for businesses and individuals to help support Victory Mission’s efforts in workforce development. “We have Neighborhood Assistance Program (NAP) state tax credits and mentoring opportunities with Jobs for Life,” says Hynson. “Individuals can also serve on a business panel or participate in mock interviews. Give your social capital or buy some coffee from our social enterprise and everyone wins.”
“The dream is to have social enterprises that not only fund our operational budget but put people who need second chances to work,” says Hynson. “That’s the vision.”
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