Focus on the Upstate 95 - Miracle Hill and BridgeWorks - 3/11/18

Focus on the Upstate
Sunday, March 11th

Jacob Edmisten, the Stewardship Director for Miracle Hill, joins COO of BridgeWorks Scott Green to talk about the new employment services venture which benefits Miracle Hill, and how BridgeWorks will help Miracle Hill fulfill its mission in the Upstate.


Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

Welcome to focus on the upstate a program dedicated to informing you about organizations that serve our community. How you can get involved with him. Here's your host Chris Evans. Good morning and welcome to focus on the upstate my name is Chris Evans today my guests are Jakob at Aniston. He stewardship director of miracle hill good morning Jacobs good morning morning figuring here we also have Scott green the CEO of bridge works. We're gonna talk in a little bit about how bridge works is affiliated with miracle hill the first I wanna ask Jacobs the of the question that I normally ask my guess the first question. What you do and who do you do it for tell us about miracle hill and how do you guys Serbia's state community Howell miracle hill is a. Comments since then has grown and grown just out of different needs we've we've. Seen shelters arise and so. First children's home open up in 1958. Along with one of our first restores. And now to this date we have nine shelters that serve in four counties across the upstate. Pickens Greenville Spartanburg and Cherokee. And that the majority of those shelters are are homeless shelters they care for men women and children who who are homeless. I'm in two of them are addiction recovery facilities that serve and men and women. See you as you really can do a lot of things a lot of organizations had to sort of singular mission and they really focused on that not and a bonus just that your unfocused. But you really have a broader calling yet no doubt and let's be honest with you the way that that came about you know I'd. I think that that the children inside was was never initially that the plan. And the fifties and sixties when their children roaming the streets of Greeneville there is a need. And so the children's home grew out of that and even to this day a lot of individuals that we serve and are homeless shelters and in the addiction recovery facilities. They've been through terrible Foster homes and they've been stuck in Foster care. World for so long and and and I think we have thought. Hey we can intervene in this process earlier and so out of those needs the different parts of miracle hill have grown. It's really kind of different aspects of of the same. Need fullness blue lack of housing leads to you you know people winding up in Foster care might lead to substance abuse and and an addiction. And so you really kind of have have discovered more and more as you've gone on these needs exist. Absolutely I think one of the things that people aren't aware of and you may be aware of this but. One of the leading causes of homelessness. Is addiction really point blank I'm and there are other causes circumstantial mental illness but addiction plays a huge role when that. And I imagine it's a bit of a vicious cycle because if you are addicted to substances then you are likely mean not going to be in a position where you gonna keep a job or keep a home or things like that so he. Becoming perpetuate your own situation. Definitely I said I think that's true I think what is also true that situation is that when people are hopeless. And when their broken and when they don't have a home they don't have a place to go. A lot of times they're not thinking about the future and the first place they're not thinking about a 401K they're not thinking about. You know housing they're thinking about survival and a lot of times that involves escape I think a lot of people are trying to run from the reality that is and in at least addiction often talk. That hopelessness really is I think it that at the core of what. Miracle hell does he you guys are looking to provide hope to the hopeless absolutely and and that's the that's why you have addiction recovery services yet Foster care services you have homeless shelters. You we're talking before the program about the homeless shelters and we've recently had a lot of really cold weather how is that affected the way that your. Homeless shelters have been run. It's certainly affects it. Though the main thing that happens is is. There's an increase in the number of people majority shelter the way that works currently in the upstate at least in our shelters is. When we have whether they drops below forty degrees at night we raise a white flag in that signals to people on the outside. Hey we're opening our doors even if all of our beds are for making room and so we will have additional men and women come out of the woods come out of homeless camps. I and they wanted to come and stay where they can be warmer they can have food. Can be really sheltered from the that elements out there. I just this past winter we had an additional 200 individuals on some nights staying in our shelters across the upstate. What does it take to accommodate extra people like that I mean you mentioned and even if your beds are full you're gonna still take people in that what do you have to do. You make it work. Honestly make it work we we have people fitting where we can fit people in the green bull rescue mission. The way that we do it as we have mattresses that we lay out on the gym floor and we're we're fairly prepared and so the gymnasium turns into a giant. Emergency shelter at that point in time and they store the match is up during the during the summer months. And then when it's wintertime they bring him down. And then you would be amazed just to see this this ocean of mats laid out on the green the rescue mission floor and also requires a lot more students you can match again and I 200 people a day it's 600 additional meals a day they'd do we are preparing for those people in need. Speaking of food I think I'm reminded now the last time I talk to miracle hill you guys were just about to have you were you big Thanksgiving. Dinner how'd that go it went really really well we had we actually had 670. Turkey's that we could. I'm fed thousands of people right here in the upstate it's it's actually south Carolina's largest Turkey fry that we are aware of and it feels like south Carolina's largest Turkey fry when you're there because you do smell like Turkey you feel like turkeys by the end of the day. But it's really an amazing way to meet the physical needs of men women and children who who desperately. Are in need here and yes they yes it. Right and now I'm gonna bring in Scott grainy as chief operating officer of the company called bridge works. And Scott and welcome to the program and then welcome you originally so that's a good morning and thank you for being here good morning. Tell us about bridge works what do you do and how are you involved a miracle hill Cassel is so brick works is very unique. Concept it's we explain as the business world. Meeting nonprofit world and what do mean by that is in the business world the resources are mainly. Produced from businesses as it has prophet is its monetary resources. And so it regardless of what your industry and oh yeah history hassle that that's the intent Israel intended to end today its profits. And this is a concept that I've brought to myrtle hill. 66 months or so ago. And to what it is we are a in general staffing agency where staffing or recruiting firm. And traditional source we service light industrial clients and professional clients we place people in positions across the upstate. And so that concept was was brought to miracle hill. And now we are actually a wholly owned subsidiary of McGraw-Hill enterprises so 100% of the profits the resources that our business generates. There is to support Merkel go in the other nonprofits. This is interesting needed bridge works officially is a for profit agency. But a 100% of those profits go to miracle hill which is nonprofit agency which is the owner absolutely fantastic. And so you are you're focusing on on staffing and and I noticed that in Jacob we're talking about the mission a miracle hill in the different aspects of you mention addiction recovery. Foster care. Homeless shelters things like that almost homelessness alleviation. One of those things that that seems to go along with that but is kind of notably absent is is employment services and that's I gather where bridge work Stetson. Right so although we operate as a traditional staffing company within the company our mission is is very clear and we actually have a program designed coverage gap. And to what Jacob was speaking of earlier. In planning this there was a gap there there was something missing there was all their miracle pill is providing all of these important resources. Back to the individuals and loving on them and getting into that. Position. There's seemed to be you know what's the next step in the next step is employment gain full. Employment and that was what we were created to help hopeless and I know we we talk. A little bit about that vicious cycle. And employment has to be one of those things that helps alleviate. The homelessness you gotta be able to pay for the the the place did you living in when you're renting or owning you've got to you've got to be able to. Recover from that substance abuse who we're talking about toe hold down the job not you've got to eat all of these things kind of go together and so it makes sense. That this sort of aspect would fit really well with miracle hill and no one of the things about miracle you guys have partnered with other organizations grieve illiteracy I think I'm sure pass in the end. In the hopes of of providing that the educational opportunities did that lead to employment and and that kind of think talk a little bit about what you've done and how bridge works fits into magic. Absolutely so we do have we have partner agencies that come alongside us that the goal is. Not a handout but a hand up right and if you look at the mirror well logo that's one of the things you'll see is you'll see one individual helping out another individual and we really try to provide men and women the opportunities that they need when they stand our shelters one of the things that we encourage them to do is to the first thing we encourage them to do is to find employment. And oftentimes that's difficult maybe someone like Glaxo driver's license or. Something that they need in order to get a job something as simple as that and they need to be walk through how to get it perhaps is disability. Many to have someone help them through that but we encourage them to save money. So that they can pay for a down payment on a home or for rent. Somewhere eventually but I'm an emergency funding absolutely we encourage them to save as much money as they can and to be wise stewards of what they have and Scott's. Venture in the way that it just matched with with the culture of miracle hill was beautiful because it's not only did that it's a staffing agency on the outside that is. Providing. Opportunities for miracle hill to receive revenue it's it's really beautiful and the way that allows miracle hills guests to find game for employment through bridge works and and I'd like for Scott talk about that a little bit of humane. But until and so the point that Jacob have brought the it disadvantages or or the obstacles are placements are tough for their guests. The lack of transportation the indeed potential background. The issues that traditional employer. Would not be able to look upon because of their fiduciary duties to their business that is something that the partnership or or the ownership group that now would bridge the gap. Walking alongside of miracle hill. And all of the services that they provide. Weekend. Engaged employers that are more friendly to. Possibly starting shifts at a later time to it to allow us to transport them there. Again there are all kinds of opportunities for us to work together to help. Eliminate those obstacles and and eliminating them we're not out just defined. In the program just to find work for these people for two day just like miracle hill and the bridge to gap program we are trying to. Build a long term a viable. Position for them as opposed to. The daily birds that's really that's not conducive. To the other things it may be going on their life tell us the story about how old you started this absolutely so. I'd been staffing industry for awhile actually started my own company and sold it in 2014 and and we were recognized within the first year's one fastest on staffing organizations and Carolina. At that time. I had one goal in mind that goals profit profit your money money that that's how live my life. And guys I'm working on me for a long time and so much come in 2014. And as I am just trying to figure out what I was gonna do do next and I wanna start another staffing company so that was that was in my mind and that was a straight pull the trigger. But I took consulting gig with the staffing organization. And I was able in that position to hire a gentleman. To their work and it's true there was probably 45. Instances where he had come to the office he had together. For drug testing has come back to the office had to skills testing there there was there was four to seven points there weren't you know he had to be. Where was supposed to he when he was supposed to be there. And this was say this was a high paying blue collar jobs this was a very good job. And does so yeah there was ready start on Monday for it for a well known client. And Saturday morning me and my nine year old my five year old we're driving around do whatever we can do Oscar morning. And I wanted to text and make trees there you know UV got everything you need to go to tools you got everything you name Monday morning to get started for work. At that point he text me back. And he said. He said I'm so sorry say that I don't having in my tools and I don't have still to various and and dust or run away I mean I got angry I Democrat I've worked so hard I I I you know I worked so hard to get this guy ready to go to work. It's Saturday morning how much children back we probably one crispy cream or something you know who knows. And so now I can see is the fact I'm gonna have to work all weekend the fire and work all weekend trying to replace him for money morning. And so that I got even more selfish in Pasadena way I've got some tools in the back. I can taken to let him go to war money let him get himself fired at least I don't have to work over the weekend and you know I'll just start again on Monday at least my guy shows up in rent right morning. I should just text me your address I'll bring yet I got some tools assume that you buy it texting the address and and like any good Smartphone I click on it and it goes right to the Greek rescue us. And so at that point guy had been trying for. Thirties plus years and he just slapped me so hard in the head at. And he said discuss homeless so. Why that's important to me being in this industry watching people that Kenny was so for the first day of worker first interview etc. This gentleman had jumped through every hoop I had laid out there and get a very high paying job. In it just came down to the fact humility that he couldn't tell me along the way that he did not have access to there's resources. So my children I Wii wins spent X amount of dollars buying tools still toe boots accelerant. And I so vehicle toast on soared to the day and delivered it now to the rescue mission degree rescue and he turned out to be the absolute best worker I've ever employ of the 2000 plus people on the staff to answer. Work all the overtime that never complained. To raises in like ninety days. Just the absolute best worker ever and it was at that point that I realized yes I'm gonna start staffing chasing him but there's got to be more to it. There's got to be more than just putting people working making pitches and so it all circled back around obviously because he was living everywhere rescue mission which I didn't have any connection miracle hill at that point. And work my way back in and what do you know like to waste my terms and a meeting with greed and yeah a lot of people that didn't know and I'm I'm just spilling what I think is an idea and and from what we know now it was truly you know God's work well. Isn't it amazing how those ideas that the inspired ideas just. They do that they still like as you're talking about you have more ideas and more ideas and it just becomes this thing. That's fascinating. So how is so telling how long have you been partnering with Philip Merrill hill on this. I'm we we began and see that's the thing and got to agree with my god opens and the war it's a group. And when it's close you shouldn't try to pry around in you know gives way around it and so. As is already there you don't need to get through exactly exactly so it is close don't worry about it so. We brought the idea I brought the idea. It was just happenstance of jamaat church he I was kind of spilling out my thoughts in my feelings and what had happened with the other gentleman. He say here here's a guy call this guy happened to be a person works incorporate their miracle hill. So I called him last spilled out ideas to him in and what was going on and literally this Louis October of last year so. We were through that portion of it from October until. January and march in north obtained so what do you see in the next year so I mean you've only been around of the month or two what what do you see this going jets lose so. Within a year from a business standpoint I've project 15275. Individuals working. Now keep in mind. Only about 25% of that rule. Comes through the bridge the gap program OKD the rest the 75% will be traditional staff in traditional recruiting. Now Mary gonna benefit from the profits those who say no all of that still goes to miracle absolutely every single bit of it but it's a little and tougher to servicer guess because of the obstacles that may be in place so as we. Refine the program. I would love to see that that percentage growth but if we reached 25% which is 25 to forty employees by the end of the year. Through diversity gap program. Then I would think it would be a glowing success Jacob one of the things. We're talking about for the program and another of the of the missions that America we'll has is addiction recovery and you mention the appealing crisis we've heard so much about a minute the president talked about it to South Carolina governor stock about it. A we've heard law enforcement talking about it. How has this this new. Epidemic as they're calling it affected the addiction and recovery mission of miracle hill. One of the things we've noticed. Is is to age of the addict has changed. For so long and I think everyone's coming up this this concept in their mind that did traditionally that is the you know 405060. Year old man whose is addicted to alcohol and we're talking about that too absolutely alcoholism as part of it. One of them one of the biggest problems that we face in the state of South Carolina. Is this just prescription -- its prescription menace. I'm synthetic heroin things like that did that the young people are getting hooked on. As early as high school most of them stories that we hear folks the graduate out of our program when they're sharing those testimony says. Stories of redemption a lot of times it begins with. I was thirteen I was fourteen years old I was abused by my father I was abused by another family member. I wanted to fit in or wanted to escape and so. I tried this as such and such NH. And the next thing you know it's decades and decades of addiction and and it's taking its stole we've got children out there who are losing fathers and mothers. Mothers who are losing sons and daughters and one mention aids aids now is is. There are a lot of individuals in their twenty's. And early thirties are shelters and and some in their late teens ignorance being caught early enough the sorority and this addiction recovery facility. But I started early enough to know that it's gotten to that point right absolutely I think it's getting younger and younger and younger. A but you're right you you mentioned the fact that there is awareness kind of circulating the issue right now that's one of the topics that they're discussing right now politically. Mean one of the reputations. And deserved or not that the substance abusers have as being is of being unreliable and and their four. Unemployable. What are you doing Scott with with the bridge a gap program and through Britain works to address that issue. I think we're we're coming right alongside indeed backing off of the the rules and the ideals that are set forth by miracle hill wood in there. The rescue missions with and there are programs. You know their addiction recovery program. Kind of sets a little separate us as that is watched close or. From I use its stand Brett. As far as the reliability. You you can't predict that on anyone. Whether it be these are not there as you said it's concern us more more prevalent. Leash own and and and addicts. We. Patty on there on the your counseling heavy on that you know that penetrate that act on the miracle hillside and our ability to. Worked together and that's the advantage we have. And my feel they will be more employable is because they can help them work through that and and and realize that that is an objective her obstacle to. Can't employment and other parts of life and then as I come alongside with the employment reinforce what is needed. From day reliability standpoint I think it's and a team effort that has think. One thing worth mentioning. Chris is that there are young men and young women when they go through these dictionary of recovery programs if they aware. Seventeen or sixteen or fifteen when they first started these. These drugs whatever their drug choices and now they're thirty and there are third graduating out of an addiction recovery program. A lot of those individuals have no work history you think about you know you yet I I had my first job and almost. Fifteen years old but there are a lot of people that that that's not the reality I'm thirty years old now don't have employment history which can affect her and her ability as well so. An interest in Elvis the other plays out. By and there's actually and key point in the program to get back to that what are we doing this a little different we actually have an arm which is a contract to services arm and I don't get too deep in the week it's with colleague Dick. But it allows us to take jobs and and staff and and basically hire people for ourselves to complete these jobs. And we do that within our own warehouse space so the reason that's an important part of this program brits get programs as we have our own management team on site. That are leading them bring the operations that are leading the oversight except our union more controlled environment and you've got people that are familiar with the situations I guess exactly sue. Yeah exactly so it's controlled environment. A little more monitoring and what it. The vision was for that is for the unskilled under skilled. There's your you need a job referenced this is your job reference to start there. Now it can be a little more lax and hours of operation and a little more lax on the brakes if you need whatever is needed to accommodate that but we were then to the point of gaining that. Constant work ethic like Jacob mentioned and as they move forward being confident in that work ethic which. I don't think it's that they don't have it is that they don't know they they never had camp and so we can help instill that I think that is a very important. Tool before we run out of time hero who all of the reasons it's you that she came was to talk about the spring forth banquet which is you won your major fund raisers for the year coming up on March 27. Real quickly Jacob tell us about an absolute. In March 27 we have our spring forth banquet at the TD center. That is our annual fundraising banquet and provides a tremendous amount of the revenue that there we. Need to served the gas and our shelters how we would invite you to come if you're interested you can go to miracle hill dot org. Slash banquet and and check that out this year we don't have a speaker. Coming in from the outside we want to focus on those that we serve and so the speakers themselves will be. Guess from our shelters still have. Men and women and Foster parents. Who currently have Foster children in their home they'll be speaking at that event sharing their hearts chairing the stories of impact of redemption. While that that's sounds like you really get event. Again coming up march 27 if people want to go they need tickets they need to register how does that work so this year we've gone back to a familiar style the reviews in the past there is no. Cost support ticket it's actually free to attend. Now with the understanding that is a fundraising banquet is goalie stood so ray support for the organization. But if you go to the website you can just sign up on the website if you want to host a table and bring lots of like minded individuals. Who are willing to to support the organization I you can sign up to host a table when and fill those tables slots as well what's your guests. Nagin you can register at miracle hill dot org Miracle Mile or to do that and also if you wanna check out bridge works and the bridge the gap program. That website is bridge works crow dot com bridge works CEO. Dot com. Scott green the chief operating officer Rick George and Jacob that Ed missed an. The stewardship director of miracle hill have been my guest today thank you very much gentlemen from the only thing thank you so much it's been my pleasure I'm Chris Evans and this has been focused on the upstate. You've been listening to focus on the upstate with Chris Evans if you would like more information on today's topic email Chris. C Evans