- Working: The summer time is our busiest time! We've been doing lots of moving, hauling, and landscaping jobs, and even did our first long distance move last month. Our member apprentices earn $15-17 hour and receive on the job training.
- Supporting: We go with each other to navigate daunting government offices and to register for school. We share stories, break bread, and show love through words and actions. In July, Jumoke, David, Juan and Al attended Relational Uprising 's Relational Somatics training, which supports movements to foster a healthy, interdependent, relational culture of complex connection and inclusion. Thanks to the Watershed Center for hosting us!
- Housing: Most of our member apprentices are not in stable housing situations, which makes it challenging to show up rested and on time. We've rented a home where the core crew of Tightshift members and apprentices will live, have dedicated meeting, healing, and training time, host events open to the community, and practice being together in a caring, relational way.
- We're buying a truck. After learning more about our different options, we decided that it's better to save up for a new truck ($45k) than to buy a used one ($15k), which is likely to need costly repairs and make no guarantees for how long it will last. On top of that, truck and moving insurance is $15k per year, and general liability is $3k per year.
- We're creating a healing center in Amherst, VA. When coming home from jail and healing from trauma, there's nothing like getting out of the city into a space surrounded by nature and a caring environment. We are partnering with the School of Living Land Trust and the Women's International Living Library (WILL) to build out the infrastructure we'll need to support people in this way.
How you can help:
- Hang out with us! We plan to host story circles, BBQs, film screenings and more as a way to build bonds with the larger cooperative community.
- Donate: Below are our major expenses:
- $50k - truck and decal wrap
- $15k - insurance
- $15k - DC healing house expenses
- $60k - VA healing house expenses (rehabbing an old home, building a community kitchen)
- $60k - coordinator salaries for 2018 and 2019
It's our goal to raise at least $70k by December 15.
- Connect: Can you invite us to speak at your home, workplace, or congregation? Do you have personal connections with funders who may be in a position to donate or lend a larger amount?
- Love: We feel so much love from you all, and want you to know your positive vibrations give us so much strength! From working with us, referring us to friends, helping us with our website, giving us feedback and ideas, trusting us, to donating and inviting us to meet your colleagues, your acts have done so much to get us to where we are today. Please let us know how we can support your dreams.
Tightshift Laboring Cooperative’s mission is to model a just, equitable economy, where workers profit from their labor through cooperative ownership. We are a worker-owned laboring service specializing in moving, hauling, cleaning and landscaping services. Through this model, we can use our power to build a world where all communities are free, and nobody needs to spend time behind bars. Our members are primarily formerly incarcerated people and others at risk of entering the criminal justice system.
Want to learn more?
- Yes Magazine: The New Co-op Helping Ex-Inmates Find Work and Recover
- DCist: This Worker-Owned Cooperative is 'Bigger Than a Business'
- Tightshift interview on the Lorne Epstein Show
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