Many of the men who come to Ujamaa Place seeking support do not have stable housing situations or are homeless. Through enrollment in the Theory of TransformationTM, Ujamaa Men have access to the following educational programming related to housing: financial management education, financial literacy education, Rentwise curriculum, and tenant training.
Program housing is available in the form of Emergency Shelter, SRO units, independent units, and home ownership opportunities. Support services include assistance with furniture and other household items, bridging services, and moving assistance.
21% of the men who come to Ujamaa Place do not have a high school diploma or equivalent. All of the programs under the Theory of Transformation are critical to a Ujamaa Man’s personal success, but Ujamaa Place places added emphasis on the Education program, because participants must be educated in order to compete in today’s job market.
The Education program offers two tracks, GED and Higher Education, in order to meet each Ujamaa Man where they are in terms of the level of education attained at the time of enrollment. For those participants who have not received a high school diploma or equivalent at the time of enrollment, Ujamaa Place offers GED prep courses and tutoring. Ujamaa Place is proud to partner with the Ronald Hubb Center, where its participants can get extra help with preparing for their GED test as well as take the actual test.
For those men entering the program who have already attained their high school diploma or equivalent, Ujamaa Place offers higher education opportunities for its participants to learn about the college application and admission process through lectures, one-on-one coaching, and even college tours.
Most of the men who come to Ujamaa Place are unemployed or underemployed and have not held a consistent job due to instability or incarceration. Securing and retaining a job is a critical step in the transformation journey. Ujamaa Place helps its participants secure and retain jobs through program activities, services, support, and job certification training.
Ujamaa Place prepares its participants to enter the workforce through mock interviewing, cover letter and resume building, topic discussions, guest speakers, employment partner tours (i.e. EcoLab, 3M, White Bear Lake Superstore, MN State Fair), and job certification training in, including, but are not limited to construction, automotive, welding, forklift, entrepreneurship and financial literacy. Once participants are mentally ready to work, as unhealed trauma is a real barrier for most of the Ujamaa men, they can access the following offerings: job fair visits, job application assistance, transportation assistance to get to and from interviews, reference letters, professional attire for interviews, and miscellaneous expense support, i.e. cell phone to communicate with potential employers.
Thanks to its employment partners, Ujamaa Place also offers in-house interviews (employers on-site conducting interviews with the Ujamaa Men). Once Ujamaa Men secure employment, Ujamaa Place continues to support the men with whatever they may need to help them be successful and retain their jobs, such as transportation assistance, clothing assistance, and miscellaneous expense support.
Ujamaa Place has built a small (yet ambitious and growing) social enterprise, which supports its Stipend Program. Ujamaa Place hires its men to work at various community events and pays them competitive wages for their labor in the form of a stipend. Launched in 2018, Film Class at Ujamaa Place, taught by area professionals, teaches the fundamentals of Film Production. Ujamaa Men who demonstrate proficiency are hired to do small film production jobs in the community. Ujamaa Place is then able to pay its men a stipend for their work.