Here are a list of projects we are currently working on.
If you choose to donate to one of these projects you can rest assured that the money will only go towards that specific project.
We are forever grateful for the amazing support we have been given in our cause to help the homeless. Thank you for everything!
Second Chance Training Center
Goal: To build a entrepreneur startup training center for the homeless of Akron Ohio
Objective 1: Build out 2 of 5 main makerspaces: Woodworking, metal work, sewing, weaving, computer repair are the spaces under consideration. Woodworking will be the first space.
Objective 2: Create a video training library and hands-on training programs for each of the primary makerspaces.
Objective 3: Build an online shopping portal to sell the products that are made.
This directly benefits the homeless of Akron Ohio. To give you a feel of our Homeless Population in Akron here are the numbers from the Point In Time Count on January 26, 2016. These are the numbers of all Sheltered and Unsheltered people that could be found on that day:
- Total Number of Households: 504
- Total Number of Persons: 679
- Number of Children Under 18: 163
- Number of Persons between the age of 18 to 24: 63
- Number of Persons over the age of 24: 453
Anecdotally, the feeling in the homeless community is that the real numbers could be much higher. Some say you could easily double these numbers.
In turn, we are lifting up the weakest among us which will ease the financial burden of the city of Akron along with the support services directly assisting the homeless. We are strengthening the weakest link of our chain. This will also benefit the image of Akron as a place of innovation, creativity and compassion.
We believe we can train 40 homeless in 2017 become makers and startup their own businesses.
We will then train 100 homeless in 2018.
By 2019 we believe we can train 150 homeless.
Why You Should Support Us
The Second Chance Startup School is already beginning. It is being run by The Homeless Charity, a 501(c)(3) non-profit. The president of The Homeless Charity, Sage Lewis, is using the building he owns at 15 Broad Street in Akron for this purpose. So space is already acquired and being used for the charity.
We are an organization that is run by a group of people from the business world. Most of us are entrepreneurs who have run multiple successful businesses. We understand how to build organizations and make them run efficiently. See our Officer biographies for more information.
Homelessness continues to be a significant problem in Akron. Our shelters are full. We have panhandlers at every corner. The current programs, while incredibly valuable, have holes in them that leave many people out.
We look to offer alternative, innovative ways to empower the homeless and give them outlets that fit their particular needs and strengths.
- February 2017 and onward: Online donation drives directly with the local community using Google’s One Today platform. (This program is given to us by Google and has zero fees attached to it.)
- February 2017 and onward: Paid search program through Google Grants for Nonprofit Organizations. They have generously given us up to $10,000/month in in-kind advertising budget to use on Google.
- March 2017 – Begin building our first makerspace for woodworking. The room has already been designated for this.
- April 2017 – Hold our first woodworking training classes that will be recorded and archived for future use.
- May 2017 – Setup our online store using Shopify.
- June 2017 – Put our first products online and begin selling them.
- July 2017 – Begin creation of our second makerspace. Raw space is available. But it will need to be built out.
- July 2017 – Begin private donations for second makerspace.
- August 2017 – Classes for business startups begin.
- September 2017 – Hold donors event at the Homeless Startup School to raise donations from private funders.
- October 2017 – Second makerspace opens
- October 2017 – Training for second makerspace begins.
- November 2017 – Benefit Auction for Homeless Startup School is held.
- December 2017 – Third makerspace begins planning.
- January 2018 – Third makerspace begins being built out.
Biographies of Officers
Sage Lewis: President
Sage has been instrumental in raising awareness and funds for the homeless cause in Akron Ohio. He has run several very successful online campaigns for various homeless causes using only his connections on social media. Some include:
- $1310 for shoes for homeless kids.
- $570 for socks for the homeless.
- $235 for Shoes and Uniforms for homeless kids.
- $275 to help homeless people get down payments once they find housing.
- $1201 to build a shower and put in a washer and dryer for the local homeless.
He has created a store in his east Akron building called the Second Chance Thrift Store. 100% the money from the store goes to the homeless people running the store.
As an extension of the Second Chance Store we now have an extensive clothing collection and distribution center at 15 Broad Street. We are growing to be a center where the homeless can go to wash their clothes, take a shower, relax, have a cup of coffee and get some new clothes.
Sage is the chairman of Project RISE Outreach – an advocacy group to benefit the needs of homeless kids in Akron Ohio.
He has also been awarded the Outstanding School Volunteer of the Year Award through Akron Public Schools for his work with Project RISE and homeless children.
Sage has been a leader in the digital marketing space since 1999. He has been the president of SageRock, a digital marketing agency located in Akron Ohio since 1999. He speaks and trains nationwide on the topic of digital marketing as well as implements online marketing campaigns for some of the largest brands in the world.
SageRock has been the winner of the NEOSA Best of Tech Awards for best SEO/SEM Company and also for the Best Use of Social Media.
He owns several properties in Akron including the building at 15 Broad Street in East Akron. It was most famously Green Cross Hospital. This is where he does most of his homeless outreach.
Melissa “Rocky” Lewis: Vice-Chair
Rocky will be a crucial member in spreading the word about our makerspaces in brochures, pamphlets, newspaper articles for press release, blogging and social media. She has extensive experience helping other non-profits craft, write and place their stories in a wide variety of media outlets.
Rocky has been a professional writer for over 20 years. Starting as an editor at Penton Publishing to co-owning SageRock Digital Marketing Agency to now being a freelance writer for a wide variety of organizations throughout the United States.
Her writing capabilities are crucial in sharing the story of The Homeless Charity and the homeless cause.
Deborah Monaco: Secretary
Deborah is an attorney and serial entrepreneur. She has had our own law office and has been the Judicial Attorney and Magistrate for Summit County Domestic Relations Court. She currently is the owner of Scanworks LLC that scans and archives documents for businesses, organizations and court houses.
Jamie Johns: Treasurer
Jamie’s entire career has been as a leader in non-profit organizations. He understands how these systems work and how to make them grow.
Currently on the road with the Phantom of the Opera as Music Director, composer/arranger/conductor/pianist Jamie Johns has been the Director of Opera and Musical Theatre at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, the Resident Music Director at the Skylight Opera Theatre and the Education Director at Orlando Opera.
He brings a strong structural and organizational capability to the team as well as well as creative influence.
Our Request (What we want.)
We are looking for funding to help us build our school.
We have the building. We now need to build out spaces within the building as well as purchase equipment for the makers spaces.
Our woodworking space is already built and available for use. We now need to fill it with tools. Things we are looking for include items like:
- Power Drills
- Circular saws
- Hand carving tools
- Power jointer and thickness planer
- Hand saws
- Router bits
- Combination squares
- Tape measures
- Rasps, files, a random-orbit sander, a smoothing plane and a block plane
- Screw Drivers
We are also going to be in need of supplies such as screws, nails, glue and an ongoing supply of wood.
This supply we estimate we will need $30,000 – $50,000 the first year.
We will then need trainers. Some may donate their time. Some may need to be paid.
We believe that most wood and materials we will either be able to get donated or find around the area.
We will need develop the Web site and then host it. Maintaining the site will be approximately $1,200 per year.
We will develop the site at a rate of $45/hour. We estimate it will take 100-150 hours. This will be $4500 – $6750.
The monthly fees to run our building are approximately $4000/month. This includes all utilities, maintenance, taxes, etc. This is $48,000/year
We project that this will be overseen by one person for $2500/month. This will include all of their salary and benefits. This will be $30,000/year.
Renovating our second Makerspace
We estimate that renovations will likely cost between $40,000 – $60,000.
The second Makerspace is not decided yet. We want to see what grows out of our first makerspace.
Ideas we’ve considered include:
- Tent sewing and constructing
- Tiny house building
- Urban gardening
- Solar and wind energy programs
- Other self-sustaining programs for the community and the homeless.
- Jewelry creation
- Car mechanics
These are just a few we’ve discussed. We may find others that make more sense as we progress.
Our goal here is to create a school that ultimately begins to create products that will, in-part or fully, sustain the operations of the school.
35% of each product that is made and sold at the school will go back to the school to help fund its operations. 65% of the purchase will go to the maker of the product.
Total 2017 Funding Range: $153,700 – $195,950