The program was founded on an integrated approach to food, housing, and employment services. It was launched as Moving Forward Together (MFT) in September 2006 with a grant of $85,000 from United Way of the Columbia-Willamette. Subsequently, Clark County contributed $41,600 from HB 2163 toward supportive services (primarily the rental subsidy). Recognizing the success of working in collaborations, and to give every client a well rounded approach for a new direction, we developed a contractual relationship with Partners In Careers (PIC), and Washington State University Extension (WSU).
The Salvation Army offers a host of supportive services to participants as they work on fulfilling program requirements. These services include: weekly case management sessions, transportation dollars to aid in job search, clothing for interviews, regular access to food, refurbished donated computers for education and job search, access to dental care, free haircuts, and monthly rental subsidies of $300 for a maximum of six months.
Partners in Careers provide an Employment Specialist to work with the participant to evaluate their work history, job skills, barriers to employment, and establish a plan for their future. Participants receive individual care as they create a resume and build interviewing skills. They learn how to search for jobs, develop networks, and improve job skills.
Washington State University Extension teaches participants how to stretch a dollar, shop wiser, have fun cooking, eat healthier, and feel better about themselves. Specific classes on personal finance and nutrition are taught by WSU staff.