Journey Home: Roy Mainelli & Matt Morgan
Journey Home is committed to ending chronic homelessness in Greater Hartford, CT, as part of the Zero :2016 Campaign. Journey Home takes a systems approach, simultaneously addressing housing, employment and support services.
NONPROFIT TALENT: Leveraging contacts to create living-wage jobs
Encore!Hartford participant Roy Mainelli is a retired MBA and mechanical engineer with 33 years of strategic planning and organizational management experience in the aerospace industry. He completed a fellowship with Journey Home in 2013, conducting a survey of clients’ barriers to employment.
Recognizing his talent, connections and passion for their work, Journey Home hired Roy to work on a veterans’ employment program. Roy built on his aerospace industry relationships to develop a social-enterprise program that provides living-wage jobs in the aerospace industry and a revenue stream to Journey Home.
Roy said, “When I retired, the MC at my retirement party was the president of a major Connecticut company. I called him and said ‘If I bring you candidates that are low- to mid-skill and get them educated, will you hire them?‘ and he said, ‘Yes.’ So, the person knows when they go through our training program they’re going to get a job at the end.”
Roy is energized by the work, noting that “Journey Home is a small organization, with five employees all trained in social work. I’m not. They bring the warmer side to this process — the ‘people’ part. I bring the business side. I respect that they know what these people have gone through and how best to help them. And they look at me as if I’ve been around, I can help them, you know, raising money, organization structure, how best to handle some political situations. It’s been fun working with young people.”
NONPROFIT BENEFITS: New revenue, expanded impact
Executive Director Matt Morgan saw the value of Roy’s business skills. “We’re a very, very small nonprofit, and any additional kind of manpower or woman power that we can get, I’m eager to pursue those opportunities. It was exciting to me to have someone from the business sector join the team. Roy brought knowledge expertise and relationships from his career that we’ve used to help homeless people in greater Hartford. . . . He was way more qualified than most of the candidates who would’ve applied for his role. Roy is also incredibly creative and an entrepreneur – that’s another reason he’s perfect for this the aerospace employment placement program.”
Matt commented on Roy’s skills and self-sufficiency. “It’s really a great model and he did it all—his Excel charts with revenues, funding streams and matching grants. All of that stuff, he brought. I didn’t have to train him in any of that kind of thing.”
In addition to his broad professional expertise, Roy brought age diversity to the Journey Home team. Matt recognizes the benefits of an intergenerational workplace: “Many of us [here] are young, and I think people from all different backgrounds, different age groups [and] different ethnicities can really enrich the work, especially when we’re talking about the diverse homeless population. It’s great to have somebody that has the long view, which can balance out the naïveté, or the energy, of young people.”
ENCORE IMPACT: Living-wage jobs with benefits
Matt Morgan identified concrete examples of Roy’s impact. “The program that Roy has started has been incredible in offering living-wage jobs with health-care benefits. People with no income, no job, are able to go into this program, and after a semester of training, they are eligible for this new career path. It’s very exciting to help them to leave poverty and homelessness behind forever.”