BOSS Attends Annual Homeless Workforce Conference

BOSS was recently invited to attend the sixth-annual Saffron Strand Homeless Workforce Conference in Richmond, which took place June 15-16. BOSS was offered a table to provide services about our new Career Training & Employment Center (CTEC) in Oakland as well as information about our wraparound services throughout the agency. CTEC Job Developer McKinley Williams attended the conference, as well as one of our participants, Christopher.

The 2015 Homeless Workforce Conference focused on the absolute necessity for specialized training for those in employment services and others who work with the homeless. The conference provided workshops taught by experienced professionals and academics, including presenter Maria D. Escobar from Contra Costa College, and Rick DeGette from Alameda County Behavioral Health Care Services. BOSS attended two workshops, one of which honed in on helping more adults with mental illness seek employment. Both workshops offered immediate value for best practices in our job readiness workshops including “personalized benefits counseling” in one-on-one follow-up meetings or opportunities for co-enrollments into supportive services programs.

A number of agencies this year attending the conference offer particular support for AB-109 clients, those who are formerly incarcerated and seeking job-training services. BOSS provides job-training services for free to homeless, low income, and formerly incarcerated individuals (released under AB 109) at our Career Training & Employment Center (CTEC) at 1600 San Pablo Avenue in Oakland.

Empowering the homeless to re-enter the workforce rebuilds lives and communities – and ultimately reduces homelessness. By attending regional homeless workforce conference, not only does BOSS continue to network and educate staff, but we realize that we are not alone in our values and mission to help homeless, poor, and disabled people achieve health and self-sufficiency, and to fight against the root causes of poverty and homelessness. Many of the Homeless Workforce Conference attendees represented agencies supporting re-entry consumers (AB-109), and not just in the areas of job readiness or job searching. Ultimately, our common goal is to Turn Lives Around, and help people become self-sufficient.

For more information about CTEC or providing training or employment opportunities to those in need, contact Dennis McCray at (510) 419-0669 or