Hand Up Network Programs
The challenges of life are not unique to any one part of the world.
People sometimes think significant hardship exists somewhere else and certainly not in their own backyard. Over the last couple of decades, our team has worked to lead international ministries/non-profits that address these types of needs in the developing world with significant success. This work was important and needed, but we began to also notice similar issues in our own communities. People right around the corner were also struggling to survive. These people were our neighbors and suffered from the very same challenges we were addressing elsewhere. We began to develop various projects in a few areas in the United States and quickly realized that the same focus and, expertise we used internationally would also help to address the challenges here. It’s time to help the people in our own communities and ensure that they had the same programs and opportunities to help them, help themselves.
Enter the Hand Up Network!
The Hand Up Network provides a “Hand Up” and avoids the traditional response of a “Hand Out”. We focus our efforts on developing programs to encourage, equip and empower those who want, and are willing, to change their circumstances. These people need a “Hand Up” and an opportunity to overcome a tough season of life. Each person will have a unique journey and we are intentional to build a foundation that helps to establish abilities and good habits that provide for long-term success.
at the Hand Up Network
The Hand Up Network is an intentional process and anyone wanting a quick “hand out” soon realizes that is not what we are all about.
We welcome anyone referred from one our Network Partners or someone that just comes through the door to start their new life-transforming journey with us.
The first part of welcoming someone is to get to know who they are as an individual and give them an understanding of what the Hand Up Network Programs do.
We provide a holistic (spiritual, social and physical) foundation for every client.
Hand Up Programs
Programs within the Hand Up Network are the core of our operations. They seek to address issues, qualifications, and components that will help the client take control of their life, build a foundation for long-term sustainability and re-engage with society from a place of strength. The menu of programs will always be in flux based on the needs of our Clients. There are also programs that are always going to be key foundational needs that most who travel through the Network will need. An example, but not necessarily the complete program menu…
The Hand Up Network Team works with our Network Partner Churches to find a church home and a smooth introduction into a church family for our clients. While our clients are not required to attend church, we do promote a healthy spiritual life and a relationship with Jesus as essential to a healthy, abundant life. Church partners are invited to send Ambassadors to some Hand Up Network events or to just be available to meet with clients and invite them to church, meet them there and introduce them to people and services available at their church.
There can be many barriers working against a client to gain and keep meaningful employment. Lack of a recognized ID, Resume, Skills, Education, Training, as well as knowing what it takes to be a good employee etc. are many of the issues we see and address. Further, our clients often don’t know how to apply their gifts and skills to their vocational options. We help clients identify their skills and abilities, translate these skills into career choices and help them to reach for these careers through workshops, training, education (including ESL), apprenticeships and other program options. Hand Up Network programs seek to address many basic employment-related issues prior to applying for a job and support the client in becoming an appealing candidate to the employer.
It is important to note, that the Hand Up Network Employment Program is not about just securing a job for our clients, but about coming alongside and supporting them and their employer both before and after employment is secured. When a client has gained employment, the Hand Up team continues to meet with the client and her/his employer to ensure that the relationship continues to be favorable for all involved. In this way, relationships with local employers are enhanced and future employment opportunities for others are possible.
Retail Sales Training
One example of an opportunity for employment exists within the Retail Industry. Employers are always searching for quality personnel that have the skill, work ethic, and basic understanding of how the retail industry operates. The Hand Up Network utilizes our own retail center as a training platform to help our clients fill these career opportunities by providing training in areas such as: inventory control and logistics, sales and customer service, display presentations, retail floor design, etc. Additional workshops in Resumes, Interviewing, Workplace Etiquette and other employment skills help prepare clients to be successful in the industry.
Financial Training Programs
Clients who are on an employment track or who have gained employment may still be unsuccessful due to their inability to manage their finances. Hand Up Network identifies these issues through mentorship and provides a range of workshops and classes in subjects such as: Budgeting – how to develop a budget to manage your finances, identifying and accessing financial services such as banking and savings plans, insurances – demystifying and identifying best options for stage of life and other insurance needs, predatory lending, repairing or developing a solid credit-worthiness, etc.
Client well-being includes mental, emotional and physical elements and clients are encouraged through mentorship to not ignore these areas. For example, persistent issues with anger or fear may be related to past trauma or PTSD and a need for counseling or other services. Emotional and mental health issues can be identified by qualified network partners who specialize in these important categories. Physical well-being is presented through nutritional and exercise workshops or network partnerships so that clients begin to realize options for healthy living that exist regardless of financial resources.
Support Network Programs
Clients can access workshops and classes that help them to recognize what relationships in their lives are positive and what relationships are keeping them from moving on and becoming successful. The purpose of this category is to build positive influences in clients’ lives and for them to begin to recognize traits that will not be helpful for them as they begin to recognize the importance of a healthy support network. The Hand Up Network offers trained Mentor volunteers to clients that work with them to develop their own life plan and provide coaching and mentoring as they put their plan into action. These mentors and Hand Up Network staff become an important part of the client’s new “Support Network” as they begin to implement the changes they need to transform their own lives.
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