In a sluggish economy, the most vulnerable populations often have the hardest time regaining stable footing. Beyond the traditional workforce strategy, the Lantern Ventures project offered an opportunity to explore the “Work as Therapy” concept in real-time.
Urbane Development and The Lantern Organization, a not-for-profit affordable/special needs housing developer and social service provider based in New York City partnered to create a comprehensive food-based workforce development strategy for special needs populations residing in Lantern-operated housing.
Urbane efforts focused on programming Lantern operated commercial/retail spaces with various food-based enterprise applications, as well as developing tailored workforce training for each site.
The first phase of activities targeted the Midwood section of Brooklyn with a boutique candy and confectionery store with an international theme. Phase 2 was a re-program of an existing convenience store workforce site.