First Step Staffing from Atlanta has piloted a simple but effective model to provide a first step back into employment for homeless and returning citizens in Atlanta where they serve 1000 individuals per day. In 2018 they brought that model to Philadelphia. With the participation of multiple parties, the CDFI community, homeless service providers and social investment community, helped make this occur. First Step Staffing (FSS) acquired a local labor staffing agency in Philadelphia to operate a second location of their staffing business (after Atlanta) with more on the way. FSS now controls about 600 jobs per day in Philadelphia where they will be placing the homeless clients or returning citizens, providing transportation to the sites and ensuring that they have the supports they need to stay in the job. FSS believes that earning a wage is the first step to providing a path back into society. Marcus Reinvestment Strategies was pleased to work with 2 of our clients to make this happen. MRS underwrote the senior financing for LISC's participation of $1.2 million in the senior financing. MRS also worked with Impact Loan Fund to commit $75,000 of subordinate, social investment capital, to help create the equity-like cushion needed for the project.
The SHARE food program is led by Steveanna Wynn, the Philadelphia Inquirer's Citizen of the year in 2012. The organization, with a limited staff but hordes of volunteers, distributed more than 26 million pounds of food for the hungry out of their more than 100,000 sq. ft. warehouse and distribution center in North Philadelphia. We worked with SHARE to prepare their RACP application to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and with their extraordinary efforts and the recognition of the vital work that SHARE does, plus the support of legislators including State Senators Shirley Kitchen and Vincent Hughes, the State committed a $1 million Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program grant which enable them to stabilize their building and keep serving food banks throughout the Mid-Atlantic region.