More than fifty percent of businesses fail in the first year, so Fountain House is especially proud that our first social enterprise is now two years old. JackRabbit Deliveries began on March 18th with just three employees and now employs 17 Fountain House members, which makes up 18% of Fountain House's Transitional Employment Program. It also provides Supported Employment positions as well.
Part of JackRabbit Deliveries success has come from its ability to stay nimble. They have made it a priority to continually meet the needs their clientele by building individualized services to help the client grow and be successful. Their goal is to build a top-notch delivery and logistic service that is committed to exceeding customer expectations. They have only scratched the surface, and have big plans to keep expanding.
Initially JackRabbit Deliveries started as a bike-based courier service and now have both bike and foot positions. This has given flexibility to both our staff and the client. By implementing foot positions, JackRabbit Deliveries is able to offer many more employment opportunities to Fountain House members. Throughout our existence we have had a diverse range of members, ranging from age 18 to 71.
In celebration of JackRabbit's second birthday, some of the “Rabbits” shared what working for the social enterprise means to them.
“My day starts each morning at 8:15 AM. Rabbits start to trickle in soon afterwards. My primary duty as dispatcher is ensuring that everyone arrives on time and signs in and out. I help with that process should it be needed. If someone calls out the last minute, or is a no call/no show, I help arrange a TE Manager to go on the run instead. In emergencies, I will go out myself as well. I note in the incident log issues that arise such as lateness or not having a cell phone. I am also responsible for keeping the bike room in order. I print out signs, maps and directions for each route. As routes change, I ensure every rabbit has a spot and that their cart is labeled. I keep an inventory list as well. Some tasks I like more than others, but I enjoy what I do overall, and am happy with the opportunity to expand on my experience, skills and abilities. And I get to be in FH a lot too!” - Jacques Engelstein
“For me it’s about the work, at least part time. I’m part of the larger world, not just Fountain House. I get a good feeling getting up each morning and working five days a week. I have extra money to help a friend, take someone to lunch, or even help someone who is homeless and has it worse than me. Thank you JackRabbit Deliveries for the opportunity to work.” - David Kleiman
“Working for JackRabbit Deliveries lets me make friends and wake up early in the morning. Each day I go to the kitchen and then bring food to the pre-school. The only thing I hate about the job is the rude people on the subway. The overcrowding on the train is frustrating. Overall though, JackRabbit teaches us strategy. We have to figure out how to bring the containers up and down the steps and how to maneuver the NYC transit system. It also lets me exercise.” - Jessica Monforte
“I like working for JackRabbit. It is such a sweet job! I love my colleagues and the actual work. I don’t mind getting up in the morning- it’s worth it. I want to use this experience to get a full time job.” - Wesley James
“Working for JackRabbit keeps me going. I like that I have the same routine every day. I love riding the bike because of the fresh air and freedom. It helps that the bike is electric! Since I ride the bike I never have to wait for the train. I have been a rabbit since May 2014!” - Paul Watson
“Being a JackRabbit is a noble job. It gives me experience for a permanent job. It makes me proud, happy, and high-spirited. My favorite part about the job is the exercise and being outside.” - Garvin Henry