About Us

The mission is to provide employment and housing support to those who are homeless and at-risk of being homeless through advocacy, education, and support.

It is our vision to see the end of homelessness. We strive daily to do this by providing caring support, employment  assistance, and an innovative curriculum designed to empower individuals to achieve self-sufficiency. The heart of who we are is rooted in the strength of our partnerships with individuals, businesses, and churches in our community.

The LegUp Team mutually creates an environment based on integrity, compassion, honesty, respect, good stewardship, and professionalism through positive and caring relationships.

To address that need, the Leg Up Program has re-designed the programming to focus on supportive employment and housing success.  The new Leg Up Program has two innovative components designed to help our homeless participants become self-sufficient.   The first component is called the Jump Start program and is designed to give a participant a one-week crash course to get them ready to re-enter the job market.

This new, 15-hour class covers:

  • Past employment patterns
  • What employers are looking for
  • Resume construction
  • Interviewing
  • Addressing employment gaps
  • Criminal history
  • Patterns of behavior
  • Attire
  • Conflict in the workplace

We routinely offer classes and programming in conjunction with the following partner agencies each month:  Presbyterian Night Shelter, Samaritan House, Arlington Life Shelter, Center for Transforming Lives, Union Gospel Mission, Salvation Army, Texas CAN Academies of Fort Worth, and will soon be providing programming in the Tarrant County Jail.

The program is now low-barrier; meaning anyone who thinks they might benefit from taking the class is encouraged to do so.  Our staff communicates with each clients’ case manager to support the case management plan in addition to providing each participant with an employment action plan and the tools to find employment.  We have established a growing employer network that has been willing to hire graduates of the program.  Some of those partners include:  Chuys, Balfour Beatty, Jack In the Box, Black Rooster Bakery and the Omni Hotel.

Every participant that takes the class receives:

  • An employment assessment
  • A customized, staff-led job search
  • A professional resume and email address
  • Interview clothing
  • Bus passes to go to interviews
  • An employment action plan

Once employed, each client receives one month of bus passes to get to work until they receive their first paycheck at which point they are paired with a success coach that will follow up with them to help address any issues along the way.  In 2017, 43 participants of the program found full-time work of at least $10.50 an hour.

Our Staff

Executive Director

Dr. Alonzo Peterson has been working in the non-profit sector for the last seventeen years. Alonzo was the Denton County Executive Director with Mothers Against Drunk Driving and helped the organization develop its first statewide volunteer program. He served as the Community Affairs Director for Metro Dallas Homeless Alliance and helped that agency serve 1,000 chronically homeless people a day. He then went on to serve as Site Director with Pleasant Grove Weed and Seed. That initiative helped reduce violent crime in Southeast Dallas by 14%.

 

Dr. Peterson served as the Executive Director of Giving Hope Inc. and helped the organization triple its budget within three four years while serving those who were homeless and at-risk of being homeless.  Dr. Peterson joined the staff of the Leg Up Program in 2017 and re-designed the agency’s life skills program to become employment and housing focused.  His efforts have led the agency to triple the number of clients they have been able to serve in the last year and has led to over 101 homeless clients finding employment and 40 finding housing.  Recently, his efforts were recognized by Tarrant Churches Together when the agency was awarded the 2018 Connecting for Good Award and he has been named a 2018 Minority Leader in Business by the Fort Worth Business Press and a 2018 Leading the Way finalist for the Tarrant County Homeless Coalition.

 

Dr. Peterson is a frequent speaker on grant writing, public speaking, non-profit administration, and leadership.  He has conducted trainings with a number of organizations including the University of North Texas, National Coalition of Homeless Veterans, Texas Homeless Network, One Star Foundation, and the Center for Non-Profit Management. His first book on person-organization fit will be published in 2019.

Employment & Housing Stabilizer

Currently vacant

Board Members

James Marr

Chair

William Campbell

Bob McCarthy

Matt Maurer

Elizabeth McCarthy

Advisory Board Members

Beverly Arana

Chair

Monica Hope

Mary Smith