Originally inspired by a leadership course which required CMNGD (COMMONGOOD) cofounder, Dave, to spend 1 day homeless and beg for $15, this experience forever changed how he and Hannah viewed poverty & homelessness.
Then the 100-year devastating Calgary flood hit their family in June 2013. With their cat in Hannah’s purse, they fled their home, knee deep in water. They were homeless… but it didn’t last long as they had many offers of free housing, food, clothing and cash from family, friends and even complete strangers.
Hannah was overwhelmed with gratitude with her new found city but as she was reading a news story about the local homeless shelter having to evacuate during the flood, this realization hit her.
There were over 2300 people (at the time) who were living without a home every day in the city and we simply do not react the same way as we do during a natural disaster, during an emergency. Homelessness is an emergency.
Dave & Hannah’s passion and history in social justice issues led them to volunteering at the Calgary Drop-In & Rehab Centre. What they kept hearing from the people living there was similar.
Once you are living in a homeless shelter, the barriers to get out of the cycle are impossible to solve by yourself. After speaking with multiple agencies, they confirmed that employment for people faced with homelessness or transitioning is a barrier. Employers are not equipped or willing to take a chance, and without stable employment, you can’t find or keep your home, creating a loop that keeps people stuck in our systems and in poverty.
Get in contact with us today to become a part of our journey and help us make good more common.
There was a gap, and after years of volunteering and research, speaking to social service agencies and finding a business model to support it, Dave & Hannah decided to use their entrepreneurial background, deep love for community & blend it with their passion for social justice issues to address employment barriers for people who experience poverty and homelessness.
CMNGD (pronounced COMMONGOOD) launched in June 2016, on ATB BoostR – a crowdfunding platform, and were in full operation by September 2016 with the support of a variety of community partners like ATB Financial, the Calgary Drop In & Rehab Centre, FreshStart Recovery, The Alex, Momentum and a variety of businesses and private investors in Calgary.
For the first year and a half, CMNGD scaled out of the basement of the Calgary Drop-In & Rehab Centre (the local homeless shelter), using their commercial laundry machines in the late evening and employing people living at the shelter. In December 2017, CMNGD purchased a commercial laundry plant which increased their capacity and expanded into the health & wellness industries, adding even more impact employment hours.
The operation is simple: CMNGD picks up and delivers tens of thousands of linens from restaurants, spas, fitness centres & events every week. Then they wash, dry, iron and fold these linens (uniforms, napkins, towels, bed sheets, etc) and deliver them ready for use. This model is a repetitive employment model that allows for easy training and consistency for our barriered employees.
CMNGD is now expanding across Canada with a national laundry partner, doubling down on their employment and environmental impact, together. CMNGD is continuing to work with local social service agencies to provide employment to people facing poverty barriers and partnering with local businesses who want to do more good with their dollars.
Let’s start Making Good More Common, together!