Creating Community with Social Hiring

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There are many stories as to why CMNGD (COMMONGOOD) started.

People's stories are woven into the fabric of what we do.

We scaled our model out of the basement of a homeless shelter. There, we met Dan. He lived in the homeless shelter and worked in their laundry, volunteering every day. Now he was going to work for us – he was employee #1. But don’t let the way he shuffled his feet fool you, he always had a smirk and a funny joke ready to ease the monotony of folding laundry.

We thought our model would save Dan, but really what happened was Dan saved us. He showed us the ropes of running a laundry. He knew how those machines worked, what noises to be worried about and where everything went.

One night we realized just how long Dan had been living on the streets when he gasped while we watched a live hockey game on our smartphone while waiting for laundry! He shared with us how if you don’t get out of the shelter within 2 years, you were institutionalized and it was damn hard to get out.

We didn't want to believe it.

We had every hope that Dan could get out.

He didn’t. A few years later, he died in that shelter.

We found this out shortly before recording this podcast with SheEO. It is a reminder of how hard working in social change can be. Dan is a part of our story, the foundation of building CMNGD Linens with us, and we wanted to honour his memory by keeping this real, he would have demanded me too.

Calgary Linen and Laundry Services Cmngd Common Good