One mattress at a time! A New Approach to Social Welfare: How St. Vincent de Paul Society Creates Sustainable Communities.
By turning trash into revenue-producing businesses, St. Vincent de Paul Society (Lane County, Oregon) is simultaneously creating jobs for the unemployed and providing needed services to more than 84,000 people each year. Not to mention responding to the call of Pope Francis in Laudato Si.
The St. Vincent de Paul Society is the world leader in mattress recycling, a task that creates jobs and brings in critical dollars to fund the nonprofit’s programs, NPR reports. The organization’s outposts in California and Oregon recycle more than 120,000 mattresses and boxsprings a year.
Watch the following brief video, HOW DO WE CHANGE THE GAME, from the Robert Woods Johnson Foundation
Mattress recyclers are able to extract cotton, foam, wood and steel, according to St. Vincent’s website. Often, ex-offenders and others who are struggling to find work are the ones who are hired to take on this eco-friendly job.
“The focus on this is really about jobs and job creation and the opportunity for economic development,” McDonald told KMTR of the expansion. “In a time when there’s a need for jobs and job development this kind of a facility gives us that opportunity to serve this part of town better but really the community better.”