• Integrity Welcomes New Staff

    Bonita is the friendly face who greets you in the lobby (or will be once it is safe to open our doors again). She joined Integrity as a receptionist and a member of the intake team. Bonita is actually an alumna of Integrity’s job training programs after being referred to Integrity by AARP. She was so impressed by Integrity’s ability to train people and have them placed in jobs, that she wanted to stay with the organization. “Helping people to find jobs, especially those who may have had a criminal background, I was really impressed with that. And I just see it as a way of paying it forward.”

    Before working at Integrity, Bonita worked in a few different industries, including working as a substitute teacher and doing literacy tutoring with underperforming students for Atlanta Public Schools.

    Helping people, and in turn, the community, is what Bonita looks forward to most in working for Integrity. “When you touch one individual, you're touching that person's family, you're touching that neighborhood and it's like a domino effect. Us being in this pandemic, knowing that we're all in this together and knowing that I'm doing something to help someone is what I look forward to every day.” 

    Along with Bonita, Integrity is also welcoming Roderick, our new job developer. As job developer, Roderick matches clients with job opportunities based on their skills and past work experience. 

    Roderick comes to Integrity building on his past experience with the City of Atlanta’s Workforce Development Agency, an organization with a workforce development mission similar to that of Integrity. Roderick also has experience training people for the workforce through working with California Congresswoman Maxine Waters on Project Build. This project focused on training people in various skills such as fiber optics training, nursing, and forklift operation. “It was an incredible experience, working with her, because I never expected that to happen.”

    Roderick’s favorite thing about working at Integrity is getting people employed, especially during a time when job numbers are going down due to the pandemic. He looks forward to getting even more people placed once things return to normal after the COVID pandemic. “My favorite thing is to get people jobs, because that is so important in the community. Getting a person a job is really what gets me going.”

    post a comment
  • Herndon Square Project Provides Employment Opportunities to Local Community

    The Herndon Square Project, carried out by Atlanta Housing, is building sustainable and viable housing for seniors and the mixed-income community to thrive in.

    To engage the community in local employment opportunities, Atlanta Housing reached out to Integrity and other local organizations to identify individuals who might work on the project. To learn more about Integrity's involvement, watch the project's fall update video, linked here.

    The new Herndon Square development is located in the English Avenue neighborhood. The complex will have 700 units, roughly half of which will be designated as affordable. Of the affordable units, 105 will be reserved for seniors. The amenities offered in the complex will be open to all members of the surrounding community, regardless of if they are Herndon Square residents. To find out if you qualify for an affordable housing unit, visit atlantahousing.com.


    post a comment
  • The Next50 Comes to Atlanta

    Integrity in partnership with the Center for Workforce Inclusion are initiating a new to program as part of the NextFifty Initiative that will target job training and placement to formerly incarcerated job seekers over age 50 living in the Westside community of Atlanta. In addition to job skill training, the NextFifty Initiative will bring together a coalition of partners to assist clients with a range of obstacles to employment including unstable housing or homelessness, poor physical health, mental health, and substance abuse problems, food insecurity, lack of transportation, and the stigma that incarceration carries. The NextFifty operates out of a number of program sites in Colorado.  The new Integrity/CWI program is the first NextFifty  site in Georgia. CWI Labs’ s partnership with the NextFifty Initiative in Denver, Colorado and led to seven out of every eight participating older, ex-offender clients finding full-time employment. “Older, formerly incarcerated people face high barriers to employment under the best of circumstances,” said Gary A. Officer, Founder, and CEO of CWI Labs. “As they attempt to reenter the workforce in a post-COVID world, however, they will face increased competition, fewer employers, and the need for skills that did not exist when many of them entered the justice system.” The program will counter this current reality of unemployment among formerly incarcerated people where the employment rate is, on average, five times higher than the unemployment rate for the general U.S. population. To find out more about this program, you can call the office at (404) 853-1780.

    post a comment
  • Introducing the English Avenue/Vine City Community Collaborative

    Integrity is one of the founding members of the English Avenue/Vine City Community Collaborative.  The new Collaborative was convened in April to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on residents of the Vine City and English Avenue neighborhoods.  The Collaborative connects community-based organizations with churches and community-based non-profits to identify gaps, needs and issues to support residents. The partnership includes two neighborhood organizations: the Vine City Civic Association and English Avenue Neighborhood Association, two churches: New Jerusalem Baptist Church and Higher Ground Empowerment Center, plus Choice Neighborhoods, Greater Vine City Opportunities Program, Historic Westside Gardens, Integrity Transformations CDC, Oasis of Vine City, and Sisters Action Team.  The Collaborative's initial project is the COVID-19 Health and Safety Initiative.  Free health and safety packs including fresh fruits and safety care items including masks, gloves and hand sanitizer are being distributed at four neighborhood sites.

    • Tuesday at 1 pm at New Jerusalem Baptist Church
    • Wednesday at 11am at the Higher Ground Empowerment Center
    • Thursday at 1pm at the corner of Lowery and Fox Streets
    • Saturday at 11 am at the Vine City Civic Association office on Boone Boulevard.
    The Collaborative distributed over 200 bags of fruits and care packages on April 20th and 21st, its first two days in operation. This is just the first initiative of the Collaborative. We look forward to even greater things in the future.

    post a comment
  • The Westside NET Program Goes Online

    Integrity begun its newest iteration of the Westside NET program on April 20th, online learning.  The traditional NET program has been converted into a shorter program that will meet Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 9am to 12 noon for 2 weeks. Integrity staff are also modifying the class exercises add a greater number of small group exercises and reduce the number of one-on-one exercises. Before starting the online class, prospective students must complete their intake activities with their Case Managers and complete the program orientation that has been available online since March 23rd. Once they have completed their orientation, students can participate in the classes online from their phone or computer. If they plan to use their phone, they will need to download the ZOOM app to connect to the class.  The second online graduation took place on last Friday on May 22nd. “I believe that this new avenue of learning will move Integrity to a new level.” Said Ursula Hodge, the Westside NET Program Manager.  “I hope the success of the program will allow Integrity to continue online training as an option for those facing physical barriers such as the lack of transportation or childcare, even after the shelter-in-place requirements end.”

    post a comment