Your NNC: Blog
Two Good partnership tackling women’s homelessness
Simple acts of kindness can be hard to come by, but for our partner, Two Good, a social enterprise and business for good, this was exactly how the organisation was born.
Twenty years ago, founder and CEO, Rob Caslick, took two mates and a BBQ to Kings Cross to cook wholesome and nutritious food for those living rough – with no sausage sandwiches allowed.
Since then, the organisation has evolved and now delivers a number of services, including the provision of meals for shelters, catering, self-care products, and social employment, all of which tie back to its mission to “demonstrate love and respect to vulnerable people by creating Good Food and Good Things”.
Joining forces to create community impact
Operating in the same postcode, Two Good and Newtown Neighbourhood Centre (NNC) were instantly aligned in their respective missions to address homelessness and provide support to the community.
Alex Nagle, Two Good’s Head of Culture and Social Impact likens the collaboration to a two-way street.
“It’s important for us to connect with our community. Joining forces with NNC has meant that we can present a united front when it comes to tackling homelessness, and we can lean on each other’s strengths,” says Nagle.
Two Good has supplied meals for NNC’s annual Car Boot Sleep Out since 2017.
“We provide meals and self-care packs for those who attend the Centre, and NNC provides critical information to help determine where our services might be in need, such as low-cost accommodation locations. We also receive referrals from NNC for our employment pathways program,” continues Nagle.
Employment opportunities providing second chances for women in turmoil
The social employment work undertaken at Two Good is where they have the greatest community impact; hiring women from the very shelters and services they donate to. The ‘Work Work’ program employs approximately 40 women across the year to work in the ‘Good Food’ arm of the business.
“The goal is to empower women to re-establish their self-belief and independence, build their resilience, and bridge the gap from where they are in their journey to re-entering the workforce after living in crisis,” explains Nagle.
Government funding, sales from goods and services, and donations are all funnelled back into the organisation to fund employment.
“Every purchase made at Two Good will change the course of someone’s life, whether it’s from café sales, catering and events, or through the funds generated from our soaps and lifestyle products,” says Nagle.
The importance of finding your village
Perhaps the most invaluable impact of all is the personal transformation of the women who take part in the ‘Work Work’ program. “The power of human connection and finding your community cannot be understated,” shares Nagle.
“We see women bonding through their own experiences and stories, and they nourish each other emotionally. The gains they make in employment and taking back control of their life remind them of their capacity and resilience. Changes are not only authentic, but they manifest, physically. Their posture changes, they start to project their voice, and we see their level of self-care improve.
“The icing on the cake, so to speak, is when women start to advocate and be accountable for each other. It’s amazing what that does to someone’s self-confidence. They become the helper, not the helped,” says Nagle.
Meals empowering women to take back their lives
Elise* fell into homelessness. Her partner stole her car and left her and her daughter with a mountain of debt in Elise’s name. Unfortunately, this is a story all too common for those at NNC and Two Good.
Elise turned to NNC for support and was provided with a Two Good meal. The team at NNC referred Elise to Two Good to take part in their Work Work employment program, which she accepted. After training and gaining confidence through the program, Elise was able to gain employment in hospitality. She has recently forged her own path into a sector that she is passionate about, securing her dream job in traffic control.
“It’s incredibly heart-warming to witness people’s lives transform and flourish through this program,” says Nagle.
“We’ve seen women go on to work in real estate, engineering, and even start their own businesses.
“Being able to secure permanent employment has allowed some people with the means to build homes for family in their country of birth. Picking up life skills, such as learning how to cook, also means they can cook meals for their own families and bring that meaningful social ritual back into their lives,” concludes Nagle.
How you can help Two Good
If you’d like to donate or learn more about Two Good’s corporate volunteering program, please click here: https://twogood.com.au/
*Name has been changed to protect the identity of the person.
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