Belleville-based Caritas Family Solutions’ Senior Community Services Employment Program has received a $25,000 grant from Lutheran Foundation of St. Louis. This is the second year Caritas has received a grant from the foundation, which will go towards supportive training for the program’s participants.
“We are very pleased to continue providing our support of Caritas Family Solutions and their Senior Employment Program,” said Ann Vazquez, Lutheran Foundation of St. Louis, president/CEO. “One of the reasons SCSEP is receiving this grant is because we have a shared goal to help older adults maintain their independence. We appreciate that our contribution is making such an impact for this program.”
SCSEP provides low-income persons, age 55 and over, the opportunity to prepare for and return to the labor force. Qualified seniors receive employment preparation, job search assistance and a paid public service assignment that provides on-the-job training. The program also helps fill a gap for unemployed seniors by allowing them to list SCSEP’s training program on their resume. SCSEP Program Manager Gary Woods said the grant money will help provide seniors participating in the program with additional support to maintain their job.
“Once the seniors in our program find employment, we stay in touch with them for a year to make sure they are getting the support they need to maintain and thrive in their new position,” said Woods. “Sometimes they need business shoes, gas cards, help with medical appointments, rent assistance or additional job training. This grant money will allow us to continue supporting seniors with those needs so they can focus on their new job.”
SCSEP has roughly 77 seniors participating in the program right now between the ages of 55 and 82. The program serves seniors in Madison, Jersey and St. Clair County and includes bi-annual training celebrations where participants learn additional skills such as how to use tablets and other technology devices.
Founded in 1947, Caritas Family Solutions strengthens the social and emotional well-being of individuals and families in order to create healthy relationships, loving homes and strong communities. Caritas provides services across Southern Illinois from offices located in Belleville, Carterville, Mount Vernon, Olney, East Alton and Effingham.
Photo from Caritas Family Solutions’ SCSEP celebration earlier this year.