Last year, the Outreach Commission had an idea: what would it be like to host a job fair for folks who might not have access to the job market, including folks who were experiencing homelessness? There were a lot of unknowns to try something new and outside our expertise.
What came next? The church needed to make connections. Pastor Patty and Mike Moberly made connections with HopeLink and WorkSource, nonprofits who had experience with other job fairs. The church worked to provide direct outreach to HopeLink clients, Congregations for the Homeless (CFH) and to Sophia Way as clients from these organizations are amongst those who are impacted by the lack of employment. This Tuesday, the Atrium was open for folks who needed help with resume and preparing for interviews. And on Wednesday we opened the doors of the church for employers and job seekers—not certain what the outcome would be.
And here’s what happened: we found our space filled with employers that were ready to interview folks who might have trouble accessing the job market. We welcomed eighteen (18) employers (ABM, Alaska Airlines, Amazon, Apartment Advantage, Booking.com, Bright Horizons, BrightView Landscapes, Columbia Distribution, McDonald’s, MOD Pizza, Nordstrom, PCC Community Markets, QFC, Safeway/Albertson’s, Seattle Marriott Bellevue, Select Staffing, Smart Talent, Starbucks) In total, forty-nine (49) job seekers came to the fair, three individuals were hired on the spot, several more arranged for interviews over the next several days and others collected contact information for the future.
This was the first jobfair of its kind on the Eastside, and our partners were excited to explore future options in the future.
We have made a commitment to be a downtown Church, and we are learning what that can mean. Learning to be a downtown church takes experimentation and trying things we might not have tried before, not knowing what the outcome may be. Being a downtown church means building connections with our neighbors and our mission partners to serve our community. We are learning what it means to be the face of a loving God in downtown Bellevue, to be a neighbor who contributes of that community and to be of service to those living on the margins.
A huge shout out to our Outreach Commission for the idea, to our Church Council for supporting the event and to Mike Moberly and Karin Evensta for their personal contribution to the Job Fair. Thank you for your work to imagining new ways we might be a place of hope in our community.
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