The SunTrust Foundation Board of Directors recently awarded The Commons at Imperial Hotel, a National Church Residences property in Atlanta, a $100,000 grant for establishing a Employment Services Program.
Since 2003, National Church Residences has had proven success in developing and operating comprehensive person-centered, Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH).
National Church Residences and Atlanta-based Columbia Residential re-developed the historic Imperial Hotel expanding the availability of PSH in the metro Atlanta area while preserving one of Atlanta’s well-known landmarks. The building hosts 90 apartments serving low-income, formerly homeless residents with disabling conditions. Specifically those coping with conditions such as severe and persistent mental illness, substance abuse or addiction disorders, serious medical conditions, HIV/AIDS, and/or physical disabilities.
The SunTrust Foundation aligns its purpose with SunTrust Bank’s purpose of Lighting the Way to Financial Well-Being, which helps improve an individual’s financial well-being. The grant will fund the Make It Happen! and Right Track programs with the goal that through education, training, and coaching PSH residents will obtain and maintain regular paid employment. In addition to a paid training stipend, Right Track participants will receive coaching, transportation assistance, and support from a Professional Employment Coordinator to help them transition into the traditional workforce.
“Employment is a key opportunity for this population to experience healthy, productive lifestyles within their community,” says Jeff Wolf, Senior Vice President Philanthropy and Mission Impact at National Church Residences. “Unfortunately, this population suffers from multiple barriers entering the workforce. We’re thankful for this award, because it will support our residents to help them achieve a level of self-sufficiency.”
Recently, twelve SunTrust Bank top executives spent an afternoon with residents of The Commons at Imperial Hotel to provide much-needed resume writing and mock interviewing assistance, career education and mentorship. Executives and residents alike were inspired by this enriching experience, which was facilitated by the newest member of the National Church Residences Southeast Advisory Board, Lynette Bell.
“On behalf of the SunTrust Foundation, we’re pleased to support National Church Residences in their efforts to empower the residents of The Commons at Imperial Hotel through its Right Track workforce development program,” said Jenna Kelly, president of the Atlanta division of SunTrust Bank. “At SunTrust, we’re working every day to help people take steps toward financial confidence. The Right Track program is helping people obtain and maintain employment, a significant step to creating better lives for them and financial well-being.”
The program will serve up to 90 formerly homeless and disabled individuals with little or no employment history who require additional support to be successful in the work place. Participants will have access to an on-site Employment/Computer Resource Center as well as coaching and support to help them prepare, find, and keep employment.