By Sandy Karp
A formally incarcerated man from San Pablo cleared his credit, earned his driver’s license, and purchased a car with insurance. Meanwhile, a homeless mother of two got help to achieve sobriety, a job, an apartment and the title “Best Mom.”
Local residents have emerged from seemingly insurmountable situations through the help of Rubicon Programs at 101 Broadway in Richmond.
Last year alone, the award-winning nonprofit, which has been operating for four decades and also has offices in Antioch, Berkeley, Hayward and Oakland, found 657 people jobs. The average starting wage for those positions is more than $16 per hour, the nonprofit says.
Rubicon credits an organized, multi-faceted financial wellness approach for its success. The approach includes four building blocks to help lift people from poverty and make them financially sustainable: assets, income, wellness, and connections.
The “assets” block aims to help participants discover public benefits such as MediCal or CalWorks, guidance for credit repair, budgeting and more.
The “income” block assists participants in building a career that will help them accomplish their long term goals with career advising, legal support (if necessary), and support to help retain employment.
The “wellness” block embodies the idea that emotional and physical wellness is the key to securing and keeping a job. Services offered include access to primary healthcare, therapy session, and recovery groups.
The “connections” block emphasizes the importance of social connections to obtain employment, or should a life changing event occur such as a health issue. Participants join a Rubicon network comprised of past and present participants and staff and are looped into large professional networks.
Rubicon relies on a team of coaches to help bring clients through the four areas of focus. The coaches work one-on-one with participants with the ultimate aim of providing them with tools to achieve economic mobility.
“Our coaches are really committed,” said Estela Granera, Rubicon’s program support assistant. “Ensuring participants are comfortable and successful after they complete the workshops is really important to them.”
For more information on Rubicon’s services, call their Richmond office at (510) 412-1725 or stop by their office at 101 Broadway, Richmond.