Analysis conducted by Ernst & Young shows that, for every dollar spent to employ a target employee group in 2016, Atira Property Management Inc.(Atira) has realized a social return on investment (SROI) of $4.13, an improvement over Ernst & Young’s 2013 SROI report of $.81. Further, 88% of those hired believe their life circumstances have improved since they started work.
“The report validates our long-held belief that people in the community want to work,” says Janice Abbott, CEO of Atira Women’s Resource Society and Atira Property Management Inc. “They have something to contribute and want the chance to prove it,” Abbott said, “contrary to stereotypes held by so many.”
Atira’s target employee group includes individuals who meet one or more of the following criteria: a resident or former resident of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, unemployed or underemployed, faces significant barriers to employment as a result of institutional oppression, is receiving government income assistance and or living in Single Room Accommodation (SRA) hotel.
As said by one employee who started in an entry level position and is now working in a management role, “I never thought I could do anything with my life, let alone something meaningful. I wake up most days looking forward to my day, because it has purpose and meaning. I am truly grateful to the organization I work for, for allowing me to succeed where I never thought I could.”
Abbott says she has always believed Atira’s employment strategy was working and the 2013 and now 2016 SROI reports demonstrate that hiring employees from community not only creates significant change, but also a significant financial return on investment.
“By partnering with an international firm like Ernst & Young, we’ve been able to take advantage of a credible economic model to calculate social impact and prove our hiring model works,” she said.
Ernst & Young arrived at its results through measurement and analysis of the qualitative and quantitative costs of hiring individuals from APMI’s target employee group, and impacts on social assistance, local spending, social housing, criminal justice costs, health costs, and food banks and meal programs. They also considered other factors such as employability and job skills and quality of life. Ernst & Young’s full report can be found here.
Atira Property Management Inc. (APMI) is a socially responsible firm offering personalized, client-focused property management solutions in Greater Vancouver, and an opportunity for clients to give back to the community. As a social purpose, for-profit business, APMI is wholly owned by Atira Women’s Resource Society. All of APMI’s profits are donated to the Society and are used to fund affordable housing and support services for women and children fleeing violence and abuse.