RS Social Ventures
The problem - linking health, trauma & urban core unemployment
At Reconciliation Services 99% of the people we serve live below the poverty level; 80% are uninsured; 79% are African American, 17% White; most are ages 40-55; 55% are female. Almost all suffer from various combinations of mental health and legal challenges, lack of education, unemployment or underemployment, homelessness, and social isolation. This compounded trauma combines to create intransigent poverty in our city’s urban core, especially in the 12 neighborhoods east of Troost, and disproportionately high rates of unemployment. To add to this scenario, most people living in the urban core of KC do not own a car but 80% of the low-skill, hourly wage jobs exist 90 minutes away by bus according to a recent study by the Mid-America Regional Council.
Many studies, as well as our own experience, indicates that targeted investment in social and physical environments promote good health for all. In sum, a good job and a living wage can be correlated to health of not only the employee, but also a web of related individuals in a community. Health starts in our homes, schools, workplaces, neighborhoods, and communities, and this is where nonprofits excel at making social impact. But as the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion states, “Our health is also determined in part by access to social and economic opportunities … the safety of our workplaces… and the nature of our social interactions and relationships. The conditions in which we live explain in part why some Americans are healthier than others and why Americans more generally are not as healthy as they could be.”
Social Venturing is the solution
A social venture is a company that seeks to provide systemic solutions to achieve a sustainable, social objective. Building upon our solid non-profit foundation, in 2016 the Board and staff of RS decided to study market conditions and social venture legal structures and then launch a new initiative called “RS Social Ventures, llc”. RS Social Ventures, llc is a for-profit wholly owned subsidiary of Reconciliation Services.
“Opportunity Workforce Entrepreneurship”
RS Social Ventures, llc is creating jobs in KC’s urban core and linking a largely overlooked opportunity workforce to our region’s growing entrepreneurial opportunities. RS and RS Social Ventures together provide a hybrid nonprofit/for-profit model that is uniquely tailored to overcome the barriers our neighbors in the urban core of KC face and the market and funding limitations that exist. We call our hybrid social venture model “Opportunity Workforce Entrepreneurship”.
The Mission of RS Social Ventures, llc
The mission-driven objective of RS Social Ventures, llc is two-fold: (1) to create living wage employment opportunities along a major transportation corridor thereby linking meaningful work to an opportunity workforce in the inner city; and, (2) to provide an ongoing source of revenue for RS’ nonprofit mission to provide wrap around services to that workforce and reveal the strength of the community.
RS Social Ventures’ first initiative is a 3PL (third party logistics) Contract Packaging service. We are focused on partnering especially with startups, manufacturers and makers to help entrepreneurs grow their company in the greater Kansas City region. We provide a highly collaborative and cost effective outsourced solution for companies requiring warehousing, packaging, order fulfillment, palletizing, kitting, quality assurance checks and other contract packing and logistics services.
What exactly is a 3PL and Contract Packaging?
If you're a new startup company or fast growing solopreneur or Maker you may not be familiar with the shipping and warehousing world. 3PL stands for third-party logistics. A third-party logistics provider, sometimes called a 3PL or 3PL company, is a firm that provides outsourced logistics services to client companies for part, or all of their supply chain management functions. Contract packaging is a set of services provided to a company to provide final packaging or assembly of a product. This includes secondary packaging (such as packaging of liquid or powder that has already been primary packaged) and hand assembly (such as manual assembly including kits, gift sets, POP displays, gluing, taping, folding and repacking).
- Mrs. Karen Zecy, President - American Micro (President of the Board)
- Mr. Mark Larabee, Treasurer - President, Arvest Bank & President of the Urban Neighborhood Initiative of the KC Chamber
- Rev. Justin Mathews, Secretary - Executive Director of Reconciliation Services
- Mr. Myron McCant, Board Member - Co-Owner of The Kiddie Depot LLC
- Rev. Chris Rowe, 30-years experience as an executive leader in retail supply chain management