St. Francis House Launches New Workforce Development Program
March 6, 2020
St. Francis House (SFH) rebuilds lives by providing refuge and pathways to stability for adults experiencing homelessness and poverty. Every day it helps people meet their basic needs for food, clothing and shelter. SFH also provides support in the areas of behavioral health, housing, and employment.
We made a $500,000 gift to help St. Francis House build out space at 48 Boylston Street for a unique new workforce development program.
SFH is partnering with The Urban Hound, an experienced, full-service dog care business. Together they will provide a dog daycare amenity to residents in downtown Boston while also running a 6-month Dog Care Academy. The academy will train work-ready adults who are experiencing homelessness for careers in the pet care industry.
After completing construction in late 2019, the Dog Care Academy launched with its first cohort of students in January. Participants learn skills related to dog daycare, boarding, walking, training, grooming, customer service, and retail sales.
Students receive a weekly stipend of $160, an MBTA pass, clothing, and access to all SFH services, including support for people in recovery from substance addiction.
Once at full capacity, the program expects to train 24 SFH students per year and to productively engage another 50 SFH guests in activities related to the business such as baking biscuits and weaving leashes for sale at the retail store.