Meet Mason: Community Safety Services
Mason had just gotten out of prison and was living at a halfway house in San Francisco when he applied to work with St. Anthony’s Community Safety Services (CSS). He was able to secure a position through our social enterprise program, which creates opportunities for jobseekers with barriers to employment.
“Coming out of prison, it was the experience I needed,” says Mason. “Having the chance to be involved with St. Anthony’s really helped me transition back into society and kept me moving forward on the right path.” Transitional employment has always been an important part of St. Anthony’s service to the community. In fact, 30% of our staff at any given moment are former guests.
But in 2022, we’re doubling-down on our commitment to transitional employment, with plans to strengthen and expand the existing program.
“It’s about providing that bridge to stability,” says Tere Brown, St. Anthony’s chief operating officer. “We want to create even more opportunities for those who may have barriers to re-entering the workforce.”
Barriers to employment may include histories of incarceration, addiction, and homelessness, all of which can create gaps in skill sets and resumes, and prevent otherwise motivated individuals from finding work. To ease that transition, Brown is creating a program in which St. Anthony’s provides job training and three years of steady employment, with a focus on building in-demand skills. When participants are ready to move onward and upward, job search assistance will be available.
“It will be about us being able to maintain trainees and launch them out into a new, exciting direction of their choosing,” says Brown.
To recruit candidates, St. Anthony’s will partner with other community organizations, as well as Father Alfred Center, our residential recovery facility. St. Anthony’s is currently working with non-profit consultants The Bridgespan Group to align Father Alfred Center with the best evidence-based treatments for substance use disorders. Transitional employment at St. Anthony’s will be a key part of that recovery process, as participants begin to rebuild their lives.
Today, Mason’s life is back on track. He has returned to his home state of Nevada, where he is raising two children and working in a geochemistry lab. He remembers his experience at St. Anthony’s with affection and gratitude.
“We were helping the community, but it helped me, too,” he says. “I’ll always put St. Anthony’s on my resume because it was important to me.”