The Green Bay Packer Foundation gives annually to organizations across the state in their mission to support charities that “perpetuate a community environment that promotes families and the competitive value of athletics; contributes to player and fan welfare; ensures the safety and education of children; and/or prevents cruelty to animals.” Specific program focus areas this year included, “elderly, homelessness, human services, and hunger.”

St. John’s is proud to be a recipient of a grant this year that support our Guest Internship Program that will directly benefit the guests we serve and give them tools to lift themselves out of poverty and into self-sufficiency. The St. John’s Guest Internship Program was created to assist current guests in overcoming barriers to employment, establish current work history and gain positive work references. This seasonal position co-enrolls an individual in a job coaching work environment and ongoing case management for the shelter season (Mid-October to April). While under the direct supervision of the Senior Case Manager, a guest intern is also actively meeting with their own Case Manager to discuss goals, housing, budgeting, and referrals to other resources.

Guest Interns are required to maintain their sobriety, demonstrate strong work ethic and fulfill the responsibilities of their job description. Those who are hired for a Guest Intern position will be looking to take a leadership role in the shelter, both with the staff as well as their fellow guests. They will be role models and help to demonstrate the opportunities that exist for guests who work hard toward their goals.

This program will allow three guests in the 2020-21 season to be hired as interns with the payment they receive being deposited directly into a bank account that St. John’s establishes to save toward expenses related to future housing or expenses that help them achieve self-sufficiency once they are no longer a guest. This could be a security deposit for an apartment, furniture, etc. that must be approved by St. John’s. Not only does this intern program empower guests, but it equips them with on-the-job training and employment skills for job readiness and helps address gaps in coverage at the shelter.

Alexa Priddy director of community engagement says, “St. John’s is excited to partner with the Packer Foundation on this innovative program that focuses on creating leadership, job readiness and positive work experience for those in our community who have experienced homelessness and are looking for help to overcome their personal barriers and achieve self-sufficiency.”