AZ Nonprofits: Five Questions with Jarrett Ransom of St. Joseph the Worker

Marilyn HawkesNovember 23, 2022
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Now serving as the interim CEO of St. Joseph the Worker (SJW), Jarrett Ransom has held many titles with the organization, including chief philanthropy officer and interim chief operations officer. Within the last year, SJW has worked with more than 7,000 clients. We recently talked with Ransom about the nonprofit’s mission and objectives.

Tell me about the mission of St. Joseph the Worker.
Since 1988, the mission of St. Joseph the Worker has been to assist disadvantaged individuals in their efforts to become self-sufficient through quality employment. We firmly believe that a paycheck is the only way out of poverty. At SJW, our approach is providing a hand-up, not a hand-out. We do this by providing support, resources, and tools necessary for becoming employable. Consistent with our founding values of dignity, respect, hope, community and love, we strive every day to empower our clients by connecting them to opportunities that will aid them in overcoming the many challenges they face, both economically and culturally.

What are some of the ways you help clients find employment?
St. Joseph the Worker believes that employment, and all that it provides, is key to a healthy community. Knowing that a steady paycheck is critical to lasting success, our Employment Without Barriers Program meets clients where they are and creates customized support for each unique situation. Employment Without Barriers first removes obstacles to achieving quality employment, including transportation and transitional housing, while breaking their barriers to employment by providing resources and support. We connect individuals to quality employment opportunities – jobs that offer a living wage, benefits and opportunities for advancement/upskilling. We then support our clients in maintaining employment and moving toward self-sufficiency. We come from a place of “yes.” We believe that all things are possible when you work for them.

What are some of the employment services you offer your clients?
St. Joseph the Worker also offers employment service resources including:

  • One-on-one job coaching
  • Resume support
  • Uniform assistance
  • Basic tools
  • Safety equipment
  • Interview preparation
  • Job skills certification

Can you tell me about a recent success story?
Antonio arrived in Phoenix in August of 2008. Originally from Miami, Antonio first found himself homeless in LA in 1991. He moved from city to city and attributes his homelessness to a host of bad decisions. In 2017, he heard about St. Joseph the Worker and became enrolled in our services. Antonio secured employment through a staffing agency and worked miscellaneous jobs until 2021, when he found permanent employment at the Renaissance Hotel in Downtown Phoenix.  In August 2021, he moved into a Workforce Villages location (a 90-day transitional housing program to help individuals struggling with homelessness). With a safe and secure place to stay, Antonio began to feel hopeful for his future for the first time in a very long time. After being homeless for over 25 years, Antonio moved into his own apartment in November 2021. He saved $20,000 during his stay in the Workforce Villages Program and has set up a cozy apartment for himself and continues to work hard.

What would you like people to know about St. Joseph the Worker?
St. Joseph the Worker clients come from disadvantaged and underserved communities. Many of them have come from backgrounds of trauma and/or abuse. Additionally, SJW serves any person that walks through its doors and needs help regardless of age, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation or religious beliefs. Our services directly impact economically disadvantaged individuals and families by helping connect them to dignified employment opportunities, ultimately putting them on the road to self-sufficiency, and contributing to Arizona’s economic health.

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