St. Joseph the Worker receives 2013 Desert Schools Community Grant

St. Joseph the Worker receives 2013 Desert Schools Community Grant.
$10,000 will help continue St. Joseph the Worker’s mission.

February 22, 2014 – (Phoenix, AZ) St. Joseph the Worker (SJW) recently received a grant in the amount of $10,000 from Desert Schools Community Grants.  Desert Schools’ support will help women, men, and those with families in ending their hardships and poverty through employment by providing direct program support, such as transportation (bus tickets to job search or guarantee getting to and from work), work essentials (tools, uniforms, boots), and financial assistance for professional certifications/licensures (nursing, classified driving, food handler) and daycare for job searching or newly working parents.

According to Brent Downs, Executive Director, “Support from Desert Schools will help us meet the needs of job-seeking individuals in Maricopa County, Arizona who are motivated and ready to work, however, lack the basic resources and support to secure employment because of their economic status.”

SJW is a privately funded, non-profit located in Phoenix, Arizona whose mission is to assist homeless, low-income and other disadvantaged individuals in their efforts to become self-sufficient through quality employment. For 25 years, SJW has focused solely on empowering men and women who are truly “down and out” – with literally nothing – to transform their lives through employment.

“Desert Schools has always been a leader in charitable giving and continues to build communities in multiple ways through grants to organizations like SJW.  As part of our 75th anniversary, Desert Schools has launched the Shine On initiative, in which we pledge to give back $1 million to the community,” said Susan Frank, CEO of Desert Schools. “SJW has a commendable mission and process in place to provide the resources necessary for people to become self-reliant, working members of our community and we are honored to be a part of this effort.”

Additional thanks go to Desert Schools for bringing financial literacy to SJW clients by offering both the Budgeting and Understanding Your Credit courses on a monthly basis.

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St. Joseph the Worker (SJW) is a privately funded non-profit whose mission is to assist homeless, low-income and other disadvantaged individuals in becoming self-sufficient through quality employment.  In 1988, the Andre House (soup line) created SJW in response to a humble plea from homeless individuals receiving dinner in the park: “we want jobs, but we don’t have the tools.”  And since then, SJW has focused solely on empowering men and women to transform their lives through employment. As requested over two decades ago, SJW simply provides the resources.
For 25 years, SJW has provided those struggling with homelessness and poverty with the resources needed to find employment, including personal attention from professional job developers, telephone/fax/Internet access, mailing address, bus tickets, résumé development, professional clothing, hygiene products, and financial assistance for work essentials (tools, boots, etc.).  SJW also focuses on improving job readiness through our award-winning Job Readiness Workshop.
St. Joseph the Worker is committed to expanding our impact by forming collaborations with parishes, supportive housing providers and social services to help more homeless individuals than ever before find quality employment and achieve self-sufficiency.
Last year, SJW and our hardworking clients achieved the incredible accomplishment of reaching 925 new hires – a 60% increase from the previous fiscal year. The average starting pay rate was $9.51/hr. and 65% of the jobs offered benefits.

Celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2014, Desert Schools is Arizona’s largest credit union with $3.3 billion in assets, more than 300,000 members and 50 locations. As a credit union, Desert Schools is dedicated to being a valued financial resource for members, and employer of choice for employees and a committed community partner in Arizona. For more information, visit