Jubilee Services, www.jubileeservices.net, a 501(c)3 non-profit, founded in 2004, serves many of the poorest zip codes in St. Louis, Missouri, including municipalities like Ferguson. Through job training and character development, we help men disconnected from their families rebuild their personal relationships and develop professional skills to lead meaningful lives as leaders in their community.
WHAT WE DO:
Through partnerships with urban churches—who identify and champion potential participants and facilitate mentors from their churches and the business community—we operate Life Bridge Academy. The Academy offers teaching and mentoring, helping our participants develop the character traits and skills necessary to succeed in home, work, church, and community. We also operate a business, Jubilee Services, that provides on-the-job skills in a high expectation, high productivity work environment to our Life Bridge participants. We partner with the business community to provide these capable workers to fill jobs often paying 2-3 times minimum wage (including landscaping and tradesman jobs) as well as engage businesses and their employees in our work.
Antoine Whitney of Ferguson MO spent 6 years in prison for drug related charges. He left prison committed to never going back. He was unable to gain traction to secure work. He joined Jubilee Services and took on all the responsibility we offered which led to him developing problem solving skills to overcome first job related challenges but soon realized the same principles he was applying in our work also applied to his family life, personal growth, Church and community roles. He rose through leadership roles with Jubilee then graduated to work with one of our business partners paying twice minimum wage. He has since entered an electrician apprenticeship program that will lead to pay and benefits of $70/hr when he makes journeyman. More importantly he adopted 2 of his girlfriend's children, married her, and added two children of their own. Antoine now speaks to new Jubilee Services participants and represents us in community events
WHY WE'RE IMPORTANT:
Racial tensions are straining our country as well as our local community. We see a good part of the problem rooted in the cultural differences of economic failure versus success. We make a positive impact by joining people of the right heart on both sides of the issue - quite simply,we strive to create relationships.
HOW WE EFFECT THE COMMUNITY:
We see ourselves as a bridge between very different cultures—those living in generational poverty and those in middle class. Working together, folks from both sides of that economic divide are transformed through our program. Both sides invest themselves in understanding critical cultural differences, take responsibility for things they can change and offer their skills and resources that can have real impact in moving the needle on issues of poverty.