March 30, 2021

People First Employment

By Abianne Falla
People First Employment - CatSpring Yaupon

At CatSpring Yaupon, we’ve learned that sustainability is about more than the land. It’s about people, too.

That's why we created the CatSpring People First Employment Program. We offer jobs to people exiting the criminal justice system, in the hopes that they can use their time with us to transition on into other meaningful employment. Our motto for making an impact is by affecting one life, and one community, at a time.

Our goal with our People First Employment program is to set an example, for other local organizations, of the change that is possible when people are given a dignified hand-up. We are always so inspired to learn about other like-minded organizations that are committed to sustainability and doing their part to break the cycle of generational poverty. Some organizations that we feel are wonderfully exemplifying the impact behind this ideology are listed below.

The Empowerment Plan

The Empowerment Plan is a Detroit non-profit dedicated to elevating families from generational homelessness and poverty. The Empowerment Plan employs single mothers from local homeless shelters and provides training and dignified employment making winter coats that double as sleeping bags. Not only does the business serve the homeless community, the product is designed specifically with their needs in mind- how cool is that?

Quaker City Coffee

Quaker City Coffee is a profit-sharing company, with a powerful mission; to create jobs for formerly incarcerated individuals. Quaker City Coffee has developed a line of high quality coffee that serves as a dignified and meaningful employment option for returning citizens. With every cup you drink, you're changing someone's life. 

One of the most frequently cited and dispiriting statistics about the American criminal justice system is that more than half of state prisoners end up returning to prison within five years of their release. This is called recidivism and it is when a previously incarcerated person repeats or relapses into their former undesirable behaviors. A lack of positions and career trajectories for the formerly incarcerated has a very direct impact on recidivism. With no other options many of these men and women return to what they know in order to survive.
— Quaker City Coffee Founders

Lancaster Food Co

Lancaster Food Co began with a significant goal; Make great food that has a positive impact on the 30% poverty rate in the City of Lancaster. The team at Lancaster Food Co felt strongly about doing their part to reduce the poverty rate in their hometown and launched their company with a mission to pay their employees better than just living wages, and hiring people who might otherwise have a hard time getting work (due to legal records or education gaps). All of Lancaster Food not only has positive effects on the community, but also the environment by committing to using all locally sourced, USDA certified organic products.


Thistle Farms’

Thistle Farms’ is on a mission to empower women survivors of trafficking, prostitution,and addiction. They provide safe and supportive housing, economic opportunities, and strong platform for community support for the women they employ.


We're honored to say we are WeWork Creator Award finalists with Quaker City in DC & Empowerment Plan in Detroit.  Follow along on this wild journey with us !