Nonprofits often operate on a tight budget for administrative costs so that more funds can be used to support programs and services that help their target community. For many organizations, that means working twice as hard with a small, fulltime staff. To fulfill their mission, nonprofits rely on outside assistance from volunteers, interns, freelancers and other groups. However, those relationships aren’t all about what an organization can gain.

For about eight years, HEAT has been a host agency for the AARP Foundation’s Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP). The program “matches eligible older job seekers with local nonprofits and public agencies so they can increase skills and build self-confidence, while earning a modest income.” According to the foundation’s website, SCSEP began 45 years ago and is managed by the U.S. Department of Labor in 21 states and Puerto Rico. (source: AARP Foundation SCSEP)

“Our goal with each person is to help them sharpen those professional skills that make them an asset while they search for the job that is right for them,” said Tamika Condé, project director for AARP’s SCSEP office in DeKalb County. “It is a great feeling when participants transition from the program to a new position knowing they have something valuable to offer,” she added.

The HEAT staff appreciates our partnership with SCSEP for that very reason. In exchange for the much-needed help with daily activities, we are able to provide additional assistance to older, low-income residents in our community.

“When we place participants with HEAT, we know they are in a safe and friendly work environment where they will be treated with respect,” said Condé. “Those are important qualities our staff looks for in a host agency because we want a participant’s placement to be an encouraging experience. We have enjoyed a beneficial partnership with HEAT over the years,” she added.

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