Marginalized News Commentary for Changemakers

Archive for February, 2013

Everyone Wants a Career

Java Hope uses the revoluntionary Kaufmann Foundation’s ‘Who Owns the Icehouse;’ a journey travelled by Clifton Taulbert. Mr. Taulbert went from picking cotton in the south to unprecedented prosperity. In his book ‘Who Owns the Icehouse,’ he identifies eight life lessons he learned that completely revolutionized his life.

Java Hope completely agrees with this concept that people don’t want to be poor. Unfortunately, no one has convinced and empowered them to seek more from life. Instead, the system has convinced them that entitlements are a ‘good deal!; They don’t have to work, just sit down and collect a government monies.

Times are ‘a changing!’ The ‘welfare system’ as we know it is slowly reducing and eliminating programs that sustained people for years. Unfortunately, this sector lacks upward mobility job skills and the impact of new legislation is frightening….especially for women with children.

In Michigan, the Governor cut 15,000 families from welfare ‘suddenly!’ While 700 were reinstated, the other 14,300 economic condition is unknown. Of course the majority of the poor reside in urban areas. Understandably, the Governor had a fidicuary duty to balance the budget, but what about balancing the live’s of people who formerly were rewarded to stay poor?

I am extremely grateful that organizations like Java Hope exist to help people achieve meaningful careers and transform their communities. Our program clients are taught how to break employment barriers and become successful entrepreneurs. After all, everyone wants a career earning good money. They just need help understanding prosperity is for everyone….even if training is required.


It is a delight to start another new Java Hope program. We are now recruiting new applicants at Hope Clinic in Ypsilanti, MI. Eventually we will purchase our own building. However right now we realize that our clients are unable to travel to us because they lack transportation. So, we are going to them! 

I am very excited to help them escape poverty and embark into a new exciting and meaningful career. They will learn how to own and operate a coffee cart business. This is a micro-business with low overhead. The women will work in teams to cover shift changes. 

The entreprenurial program teaches all phases of owning a coffee business. It also teaches management skills in the hospitality industry. If they prefer to work for someone, we help them get good jobs earning sustainable wages. 

Some of the new clients are amazing. They understand the impact of Michigan’s new 5 year term  for welfare. They are very motivated to leave welfare forever! I cannot wait for them to experience the change and become self-sufficient.

Finally, I interviewed a young lady and explained the program to her. She was ‘sold!’ At the end of the meeting she grabbed my hand and said “You have given me Hope!’ My eyes filled with tears and I thought….yes, that’s what this program is really about – HOPE!.

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