In its ongoing efforts to break t he cycle of poverty and offer a hand up, on May 3rd, Depaul USA friends, supporters, and staff gathered to celebrate the launch of Immaculate Cleaning Services (link no longer active), Depaul USA’s first social enterprise. Immaculate Cleaning Services will provide Depaul House residents with part-time employment and generate unrestricted revenue to support Depaul’s programming.

When asked by the Daily News about the initiative, Chuck Levesque said, “We settled on a cleaning service because some of our members have worked similar jobs in the past and it builds on the skills they already have.” The crew, having completed hours of online and in-person training, is excited about this opportunity to earn some income and give back to Depaul.

“Depaul USA is all about giving guys like me a second chance,” said Arthur Rackley, the lone former resident on the crew. “When they asked me to come back and work for them, how could I say no?” Immaculate Cleaning Services represents an exciting new venture for Depaul USA as we continue to seek sustainable funding sources that align with our mission.

For other “creative unto infinity ideas” from Depaul see  “A motorcycle, a leap of faith, $200K for Depaul International/Depaul USA!”

For further background on Immaculate Cleaning Services see this earlier article from Depaul USA (link no longer active)

“Depaul USA has reached an agreement with Heits Building Services to purchase a commercial cleaning franchise as part of a dual strategy to provide employment to Depaul House residents and diversify Depaul USA’s income stream. Depaul USA plans to launch the franchise, called Immaculate Cleaning Services, in early May 2012. Immaculate Cleaning Services will be a for-profit cleaning company employing up to eight Depaul House residents as commercial office cleaners on a part-time basis.

Depaul USA was able to purchase the janitorial franchise due to a program related investment in the form of a low interest, five year loan from the Patricia Kind Family Foundation. After paying employees and covering the loan repayment and other costs, remaining revenue will finance a portion of Depaul House operations.

Laura Kind McKenna, Managing Trustee of the Patricia Kind Family Foundation, noted that structuring her foundation’s investment in Depaul USA as a loan had multiple benefits. “This loan can do multiple duties,” Ms. Kind explained. “Initially, the funds will help Depaul USA launch a social enterprise. As Depaul USA repays the loan, the funds can then be re-invested in other programs that benefit still more Philadelphians.” According to Ms. Kind, the loan will also help Depaul USA run its janitorial franchise as a true for-profit business. “In order for Immaculate Cleaning Services to succeed, it is very important that Depaul USA think like a business. A loan creates greater incentives than a grant to focus on the bottom line and be fiscally disciplined.”

Depaul USA Executive Director Chuck Levesque added, “Everyone at Depaul USA is very excited about Immaculate Cleaning Services and its potential to contribute to a double bottom line – work for our guys at Depaul House and income to support Depaul House’s operations.”

Visit Wikipedia for more on social enterprise.

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