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The Doe Fund


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The Doe Fund

The Doe Fund's innovations in social services have transformed the lives of tens of thousands of people with histories of homelessness, incarceration, poverty, substance abuse, and HIV/AIDS.

In 1990 the McDonalds launched Ready, Willing & Able, a ground-breaking transitional work program and the nation's first large-scale social enterprise. Designed to provide economic opportunity to homeless men, the program quickly proved equally effective in transitioning formerly incarcerated men into mainstream society. RWA has since helped more than 22,000 men transform their lives. More than 30 years after Mama's death, The Doe Fund has grown into a $61 million nonprofit that serves thousands each day through its programs.

Ready, Willing & Able provides a working way home for homeless men with long histories of incarceration, addiction, and chronic unemployment.

At the core of this 12-month residential program is paid work-complemented by holistic social services, career training, education, and sobriety support. It is the first and only program that combines paid work with comprehensive services to help men become permanently self-sufficient.

The "Men in Blue," as participants in the program are known, have faced extraordinary hardships, but are determined to change their lives and the lives of their families forever. Since 1990, more than 6,500 men have graduated from Ready, Willing & Able with their sobriety, a full-time job, and a permanent home.

Our mission began more than thirty years ago in New York City's Grand Central Terminal. George T. McDonald spent 700 nights in Grand Central Terminal, handing out sandwiches and clothing to the hundreds of homeless who slept there. Among them, was a woman known only as "Mama."

Although the men and women George helped were grateful for the meal, they expressed their desire for a job so they could afford a room of their own and support themselves. On Christmas Day 1985, Mama died of pneumonia after being evicted by transit police into freezing temperatures. A turning point for George, he founded The Doe Fund in Mama's memory to tackle the root causes of homelessness: lack of opportunity, skills, and support. Mama's memory is honored each Christmas Day with a candlelight vigil in Grand Central Terminal.

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The Doe Fund

Stephanie Del Toro, Senior Manager of Corporate Social Responsibility
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