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Organization Spotlight: Mission Possible

mission-possibleAs part of the DP World ‘Our World, Our Future’ global sustainability programme, we believe strongly in building a vibrant, secure and resilient society through strategic investment in the issues that affect our people and our industry. While that definitely includes our own internal programmes, we also believe in helping other businesses that have similar goals reach their objectives.

There are many organizations working to improve the lives of those who call Vancouver home—it can be difficult selecting one to include in your company’s corporate social responsibility plan. To help, we’re spotlighting a variety of worthy causes.

This time, we’re looking at Mission Possible (MP)—an organization that has an innovative and unique approach to improving the lives of those in need living in the Downtown East Side (DTES).

The Mission

Mission Possible serves people challenged by homelessness and poverty in the city’s Downtown East Side, helping them journey back to stable employment. Homelessness and poverty are not life sentences, but are steep challenges requiring a helping hand to move beyond. Recognizing that radical change comes from within, Mission Possible strives to give people in need the tools they need to succeed.

The team at Mission Possible is fueled by knowing they’re making a real positive impact in the beleaguered Downtown East Side community. This includes a street-level care program, providing daily care for those with immediate and critical needs. MP stands alone with its innovative approach to solving complex social problems.

Although the challenges the DTES faces are rough, MP believes the individuals are actually under-challenged: people there are willing and able to work, but haven’t gotten anyone to give them a chance. The first work opportunity, provided by Mission Possible, can make all the difference.

Mission Possible accomplishes its mission by giving individuals purposeful work and a paycheck. Both of these are accomplished through the charity’s Social Enterprises, which are transitional employment programmes designed to help people discover a sense of dignity and purpose through meaningful work. Specific enterprises individuals can work in include:

  • MP Maintenance – a full service exterior property maintenance company
  • MP Neighbours – a community-based solution to community safety and security

Not everyone working their way back is ready for a job, but that doesn’t mean Mission Possible isn’t ready to provide support. In addition to the social enterprises, MP offers Employment readiness workshops, and a pre-employment volunteer programme called Gather and Go.

How You Can Help

The most straightforward way for businesses to help Mission Possible is by hiring the nonprofit’s social enterprises. Social enterprises like MP are all about leveraging market forces to generate positive social impact. Not only is it a philanthropic activity, but you also will receive market-quality work for a market-competitive price. And that’s important to stress—you should not expect low-quality service from Mission Possible’s social enterprises.

Charitable support is also appreciated. The costly case management and training necessary to run Mission Possible’s programmes are not generally covered by its regular business activities. Monetary donations are very helpful when it comes to helping manage that overhead.

Beyond a monetary donation, your company’s employees can help out in a variety of ways, including:

    • Serving a meal in Mission Possible’s kitchen
    • Providing one-on-one coaching to participants
    • Teaching group workshops
    • Donating or collecting clothing (particularly casual clothing)
    • Assembling backpacks of supplies for new participants

What Not to Do – Although Mission Possible is grateful for any attention or help it receives, there are some things that are not helpful to the organization in furthering its mission. It does not, for example, accept donations of paper products, as its meal service is completely green and uses reusable plates and cups.

If you’d like to learn more about Mission Possible, visit www.mission-possible.ca. To get in touch, call 604-253-4469 or email office@mission-possible.ca.