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Lucky Duck Foundation invests $1 million for job placement, training initiative for those experiencing homeless

Funds will be used to expand to new programs and extend current ones.
Posted at 6:57 AM, Feb 05, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-05 09:57:46-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) – In Downtown San Diego, Daniel Rocha was a recently hired delivery driver for the Salvation Army’s Feeding San Diego.

This job came to him after hitting a rough patch in his life.

"I worked for 30 years, lost my job and did Uber Eats for a while. Lost my vehicle. So, I was kind of homeless and no job,” Rocha said. And being out here seeing homeless people throughout the day and now I'm actually helping homeless people. It's kind of a good turnaround."

Rocha's position is funded by a million-dollar job employment and training initiative from the Lucky Duck Foundation.

"There's also some stats that Oct. 1, 2020, through Oct. 1, 2021, 90 percent of the homeless population was without income, without connected to employment opportunities," Drew Moser, Executive Director of the Lucky Duck Foundation, said. "Typically, that number is around 70 percent. So, there's a big gap there."

After that initial investment did so well, the organization is putting up another millionto help those experiencing homelessness train them and place them in jobs.

The most recent money will go towards extending current employment and training programs and expanding to new ones.

"It's across a whole bunch of different industries from culinary training to food rescue, community beautification, programs specifically for veterans and youth,” Moser said.

Some of the new programs help at-risk homeless youth train for and find jobs.

"We also deal with the barriers that a lot of our young people have. Maybe they've never had a job. Maybe they've been told that they can't work,” Eric Lovett, the founder, and president of Urban Street Angels said. "So, one thing about this program we know is going to give them is hope. That they can do anything they put their mind to."

That sense of hope is something Rocha feels can help others in these programs just like it's helping him.

"Like, I didn't know about this place like that. But, there's a lot of places where you can go get help,” Rocha said. "Not only for them but for their friends; that there's help out here."