Member Spotlight: Elke Schwartz, JOB Community Services

Elkw Schwartz, owner of JOB Community Services

Tell us about your business! 

JOB Community Services began as an inspiration to help individuals overcome many of the barriers faced when seeking employment. Those barriers are different for everyone and range from disabilities to involvement in the justice system. We are here to help you identify and move past your specific barriers and help you along the path to becoming successfully employed or with housing services. Housing services was added in 2019.  JOB Community Services is formerly  known as JOB Employment Services and as customer needs changed so did the name!

What do you do and why do you do it? 

I work with the disadvantaged populations: those with disabilities, criminal backgrounds, addictions, etc., who want to better themselves through working or finding permanent affordable housing. Some of the individuals I work with are needing supports for both. They may need to get into housing first using homeless vouchers and once stabilized the goal is to get them to work and become self-sufficient. I do this having experienced some of my own battles and overcome them I wanted to be an inspiration to others helping them to overcome their own challenges. 

What was your motivation to get started? 

I’ve always wanted to help others to better themselves, but to get better myself I had to work from the ground up. As a single mom I worked hard to support my son, but it wasn’t doing what I really wanted to do. I volunteered with a couple of organizations and led a support group to help others which is where the idea stemmed from. After losing my parents I had a little extra money and then after a job ended the idea to start something seemed like it was the right timing. So I took a leap of faith, found Surge as a great way to get my business started. 

Who would benefit from the service you provide?

Anyone from the disadvantaged population that receives Medicaid benefits that meets the criteria as determined by an assessment and is serious about finding permanent employment or housing. 

Tell us about one of the biggest obstacles you have faced in your work and how you overcame/are tackling it.

Which one, there have been a few and all I did was keep persevering and pushing through to get it tackled. 

What are your hopes for your business? Where do you see it five years from now? 

Possibly becoming a non-profit or creating a non-profit separate from the business so that those who don’t meet criteria guidelines can still receive services and second office location. 

What made you choose Surge South Tacoma? What has your experience been like and who would you recommend it for? 

The cost effective and the need for mail to come somewhere other than my home when I started my business. It has been amazing and I recommend anyone starting a business to come to Surge! 

Where can people go for more information?