Chrysalis is an amazingly unique hybrid enterprise that has giving at its heart.  Chrysalis is a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating a pathway to self-sufficiency for homeless and low-income individuals by providing the resources and support needed to find and retain employment. Through Chrysalis Enterprises, a social enterprise business unit that employs individuals in transitional jobs in maintenance, staffing and recycling, after only a few short months, individuals with decades of unemployment and multiple barriers to work become reliable and enthusiastic employees with a recent work history and supervisor’s reference.

Chrysalis has a unique funding structure that sets them apart from other non-profit organizations. Their annual budget of $6.8 million is comprised of a broad portfolio of earned and contributed revenue. 38% is philanthropic contributions, 10% is government funds, and 52% comes from Chrysalis Enterprises revenue. The average cost of their program is $2,000 per client/year (a fraction of the cost of similar government-sponsored employment programs).

So who’s winning at Chrysalis?  Everyone!  Here are some highlights from 2009 alone:

  • Chrysalis assisted over 3,000 individuals through their employment programs and services.
  • Over 60% more people sought their services since the economic downturn.
  • 400 clients a day received services at one of their three centers.
  • Over 1,500 clients were successfully employed.
  • $2.5 million in wages was earned by clients working through Chrysalis Enterprises.
  • Chrysalis Enterprises created 220,000 hours of employment.
  • Chrysalis Enterprises cleaned the streets of over 100 of the busiest blocks in Los Angeles each month.

Even as the economy slowly gets back on its feet, Chrysalis’ 3 offices are still full of clients desperate for work. With the stiff competition that’s out there, Chrysalis pours its energy into teaching “soft skills” to those ill-equipped for landing a job–skills like how to get along with colleagues, the importance of getting to work on time, and the need to be presentable in an office. The organization even supplies clothing, so that clients can dress to impress at interviews.

Together with the Junior League of Los Angeles, Inc., Chrysalis launched a nine-week empowerment program aimed at helping women rejoin the workforce through forums on topics including résumé writing, money-management and interviewing and organizational skills, all culminating in a makeover night at Studio DNA and a graduation ceremony at Shutters on the Beach.

As of 2012, Chrysalis owns two small businesses — one that does street cleaning, another that provides temporary staffing. Together, those two entities employ more than 150 people at any given time and generate about $4.5 million a year.