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2012 Top-Rated Nonprofit

FareStart

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Homeless & Housing, Homeless Centers, Human Services, Job Training

Mission: FareStart provides a community that transforms lives by empowering homeless and disadvantaged men, women, and families to achieve self-sufficiency through life skills, job training, and employment in the food service industry. Our VISION: We rebuild lives, reconnect families and strengthen our diverse community. - We experience the power of contributing, the gift of giving and the joy of helping through preparing and serving meals to our community. - We build a self-sustaining organization through businesses that provide hands-on experience for students, financial support for our program, and a place for our community to grow. - We nourish our community by collaborating with our partners to put an end to homelessness, one human being at a time. - We empower each individual to achieve his or her highest potential by restoring hope, giving respect, nurturing self-confidence, granting trust, and creating opportunity. Our VALUES: The following values help us measure the appropriateness of our decisions. - ACCEPTANCE. Build relationships based on the belief that the past informs but does not dictate the future. - RESPECT. Hold unconditional positive regard for each other, treating all with respect and dignity. - OPENNESS. Provide an environment of open communication, honesty, acceptance and personal responsibility. - COLLABORATION. Contribute positively to strengthen the organization and the community through collaboration and innovation. - SUSTAINABILITY. Recognize that sound financial management and accountability are essential to the long-term health and sustainability of FareStart.

Results: Since 1992, FareStart has helped to transform more than 6,000 lives, and has served more than 5 million meals.

Target demographics: Homeless and disadvantaged adults; homeless and at-risk youth.

Direct beneficiaries per year: Approx. 800

Geographic areas served: Puget Sound

Programs: FareStart Adult Culinary Program; Youth Barista Program; Youth Culinary Program; Catalyst Kitchens national network of food service social enterprise organizations.

Community Stories

15 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering with FareStart in Seattle for about 6 years now. The community that revolves around this organization is top notch! Everyone is so friendly and there only for the right reasons - to help the student programs that FareStart provides. I am very passionate about FareStart and hope more spread the word to keep their programs thriving.

Donor

Rating: 5

I've had the honor of eating at FareStart, donating to FareStart, and working with their incredible development team during my time in Seattle, and I can't recommend the organization enough. FareStart touches lives in our community in a way that no other organization does, and the constructive impact FareStart is having will be felt in Seattle and around the country for decades to come. I'm proud to be affiliated with this organization, and can't wait to see what they do next.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love volunteering here! They are positively impacting lives here in Seattle.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The first time I volunteered I went to one of their auctions. I was so touched to hear all of the stories of those who have been through the program and to see the AMAZING support that they had from the community. I have been volunteering with them ever since. Great vision, great staff and great results!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love volunteering in the kitchen! The cheif's are great they really take the time to explain and demonstrate proper techniques for students and volunteers! I have especially enjoyed getting to know the students and been encouraged by their stories! Farestart is a wonderful organisation and gives so much to those in need around this Seattle!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

FareStart rocks. Volunteered in the kitchen monthly for about a year. Worth it in every way.

Michelle121

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered in the kitchen once a month for over a year and have really enjoyed getting to know the chefs and students. It is a great program that is changing lives! Also, they really support and encourage their volunteers!

Donor

Rating: 5

FareStart is an inspiration to those of us who believe in the power of a strong mission, clarity in execution, and successful outcome. Hearing participants speak on behalf of the program's impact from a personal perspective, and the subsequent ability to deeply impact lives, is profound. I have been a fan for many years, and this year became a proud donor. I anticipate a long-term relationship and look forward to being a partner in future success!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a weekly volunteer at FareStart for over three years, and I love this organization! Volunteers are welcomed with gratitude and respect, and rewarded with a deep sense of belonging. The passion for transformation inherent in the culture at FareStart is life-changing, not just for students but for all who come through the door.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I was introduced to FareStart a decade ago and became a board member 7 years ago. My understanding and appreciation for the organization has only grown with time. The impact the organization has on individuals who are interested in turning their lives around is tremendous. The fact that 85% of the graduates get jobs within 90 days of graduation is a testament to the terrific staff, execution and vision of the organization.

Doug14

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Fare Start is a remarkable social invention. By accepting work trainees from off the streets and teaching them a disciplined array of kitchen skills, they are providing job skills for life. By contracting with shelters to provide food for residents, they connect the eating needs of the dispossessed with the food preparation training skills their trainees need. By bringing leading local chefs in to provide weekly fundraising dinners, they provide more sophisticated culinary skills to the trainees and given the chefs and trainees mutual exposure, great for later job hunting. To be in the middle of those kitchens as a volunteer is a special treat, fun every time. Whether cutting up dozens of tear producing onions or helping to produce 750 burritos or delivering and serving meals to shelter residents, it is a remarkably satisfying sense of participating in something really meaningful.

Lynn T.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been volunteering at the Fare Start kitchen (food prep, delivering meals to shelters) for more than a year now - what an amazing organization. Perfect integration - students learn valuable life- and professional-skills in culinary arts which position them for jobs; dozens of shelters benefit by receiving the "fruits" of their labors in the kitchen. And the public gets to partake of wonderful fare at Guest Chef Nights and regular lunches, giving the students more chances to practice their new skills. Most of all, for me, it has been personally meaningful to be helping this great organization at the grass roots level - working with the students, chefs, other volunteers in a well-organized yet convivial environment. Can't believe there's a better model anywhere!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love both volunteering at Farestart and attending their events as a patron. It's amazing to see a whole community rally together to support this cause!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Our community has been serving monthly with FareStart for almost two years now, and love that we get to partner with an organization that is doing so many great things in our city. It's not only a great place to volunteer and serve at, but a great place to build relationships!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

FareStart is a Seattle based not-for-profit that provides culinary and life skill training for homeless and disadvantaged individuals. FareStart is also a key partner in Catalyst Kitchens and helps non profits across the country develop similar transformative programs. It is truly inspiring to see FareStart students transform their lives and move from the streets to stable employment and housing. FareStart also provides over 2000 meals to low income day cares and shelters every day. I've volunteered at FareStart for the past 12 years and it has been the most meaningful work I've ever done. Delivering and serving shelter meals side by side with students who are themselves gaining the skills to become self sufficient is a humbling and fulfilling experience.