What is Project Comeback?
Project Comeback is a 4-6 month not-for-profit vocational rehabilitation program for homeless men and women made possible by ACE. At ACE our mission is to provide job training, work experience and a lifetime support network to help our program participants achieve their goals and establish economic independence by securing full-time employment.
Program participants spend between 20 to 24 hours each week working on structured maintenance crews, sweeping streets, removing refuse, providing tree care, graffiti removal and seasonal snow and ice removal. Program participants are paid a stipend for their work. Project Comeback’s rules and requirements mirror the workplace where structure, commitment and the ability to take instruction from others are crucial for lasting employment.
Participants receive financial incentives upon successful completion of the program (obtaining full time employment).
Project Comeback Admission Criteria
Housing: all applicants must have a history of homelessness.
Sobriety: all applicants must have at lease 30 days of documented sobriety. No applicant may be currently taking methadone.
Criminal History: applicants may not have a violent or aggressive criminal history.
Medical and Behavioral Health History: applicants need to be able to lift, stand, and walk for an 8-hour shift; applicants on medication for an Axis-1 diagnoses must have six-months documented stability; and applicants cannot have had an inpatient psychiatric hospitalization in the previous six months.
Other requirements: applicants must be at least 21 years of age and be a US citizen or legal resident.
If you are interested in learning more about Project Comeback or in making a referral to the program please call 212-274-0550 ext. 18 or 212-274-0550 ext. 58. Download ACE’s Project Comeback Referral Package.
Where do Project Comeback program participants come from?
Project Comeback participants come from inpatient / outpatient drug and alcohol treatment programs, prisoner reentry programs and/or transitional / supportive housing programs. Project Comeback is an alcohol and drug free program.
The Job Readiness Workshop Series
Through a comprehensive 15-lesson curriculum focusing on employment readiness, our staff works closely with all participants to prepare them for the transition into full-time, competitive jobs.
Weekly workshops facilitated by a vocational specialist focus on resume writing, interviewing skills, personal hygiene and attire, job applications, conflict resolution and independent living skills. Additionally, the participants are taught the necessary skills needed in order to transition to independent living, including money management and time management.
Literacy & Adult Basic Education
Weekly classes in Math and English are client-centered, focused on building real-life skills relevant to the interests of class participants. Clients who need extra support with reading and writing skills work one-on-one with a literacy instructor. Project Comeback compensates clients for their class, workshop, and literacy session time. Clients may also be referred to local GED preparation courses.
Project Comeback offers introductory computer and basic typing classes to program participants. This allows participants to develop a working knowledge of computers, the Internet, and basic typing techniques.
Internship Program: Job training geared toward success
Project Comeback works closely with several New York City businesses to offer eligible program participants an unforgettable internship opportunity.
A Project Comeback internship lasts for a period of three months on average, during which time a participant works as a part-time employee for a business. The internship program provides valuable skills and on-the-job training to our motivated, responsible participants. During the internship, program participants remain in the program and are required to attend weekly vocational training workshops and all programmatic appointments. Interns meet regularly with a Project Comeback Vocational Specialist while working at their internship. There is frequent communication between Project Comeback and the internship host to guarantee job satisfaction. At the end of the three-month internship experience the employer has the option of hiring the intern for a permanent position. Our participants have a solid work ethic, which can only be enhanced by an internship. If interested please contact (212) 274-0550, ext. 20.
What other services does Project Comeback offer its participants?
Project Comeback offers the following services to its program participants:
1. Real time work experience and professional references
2. Resume writing assistance
3. Access to “fee free” savings accounts
4. Access to interview appropriate clothing
5. Job placement assistance
6. Financial literacy training and assistance
7. Access to Adult Beginning Education classes
What is Project Stay? What happens to program participants when they successfully complete the program?
Project Stay provides aftercare services for Project Comeback graduates. Project Stay is available to all graduates, in good standing, for as long as they wish to participate and are seeking gainful employment. A trained aftercare professional provides supportive counseling to assist recent graduates in the transition to full time employment. This focus on job retention is a key component in cultivating financially independent members of society. The Project Stay aftercare professional also works with graduates towards employment advancement by providing access to hard skills training and educational programs. Of all program graduates participating in our vocational aftercare program, 73% remain employed for two years or longer. This impressive rate of job retention is due in large part to the unique structure of the program. Program graduates also are eligible to receive a check for $250 after six months, one year and eighteen months if they remain in contact with the program and maintain gainful employment.
What is Project Home?
Project Home is ACE’s housing program, offered to select Project Stay participants who have retained employment and remain actively involved in the program. Project Home provides a safe and stable environment, which serves as a foundation from which participants can pursue their long-term goals, namely those of vocational growth, increased earning power and economic independence. Project Home achieves this by providing a three-year decreasing subsidy that will help participants meet the financial demands of living in their own apartment and allow them to allocate time and resources towards educational opportunities that will increase their earning power.
What is the Henry Buhl Scholarship?
ACE’s founder, Mr. Henry Buhl, has provided Project Comeback graduates access to two (2) scholarships per year to Metropolitan College (formerly known as Audrey Cohen College). This is an excellent opportunity for eligible graduates to improve their earning power.
How can the community contribute to the Program?
Community support is felt through membership dues, internship sponsorship and employment opportunities. Individuals can also volunteer their time to participate in workshops and mock interviews to prepare our participants for actual job interviews. Donations of goods and services, such as interview appropriate clothing, haircuts, and even dentistry, can also be made. To donate goods or services please call 212-274-0550 ext. 20.