The Arvada Chamber of Commerce recognized its 2019 Business of the Year and Nonprofit of the Year this January, highlighting two organizations with missions to reach underserved populations in the …
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The Arvada Chamber of Commerce recognized its 2019 Business of the Year and Nonprofit of the Year this January, highlighting two organizations with missions to reach underserved populations in the community.
The business award went to Jack’s Bar and Grill & Steamers Coffeehouse, a restaurant and coffee shop located at 8565 Five Parks Drive. The nonprofit award was given to BeyondHome, formerly Colorado Homeless Families.
The winners were recognized at the chamber’s annual dinner on Jan. 24. Additionally, the nonprofit of the year received a $500 donation.
Owned by Jack and Athan Miller, Jack’s “has been an Arvada favorite for over a decade” and was recognized for its “mission of hiring and training special needs individuals,” a chamber media release said.
The restaurant currently employs about 40 individuals with disabilities on a staff of an estimated 130 people, said program director Sarah Smith, who oversees the business’s employment of people with intellectual disabilities.
“We set out to show you could run a successful business while employing people with disabilities, and this award is proof we’re doing that,” Smith said. “One of the biggest factors of our success is the community we’re in. Arvada is so inclusive and welcoming.”
The restaurant aims to inspire other businesses to employ individuals with disabilities, Smith said. She encouraged any business interested to reach out to Jack’s, or any business employing individuals with disabilities, to learn more about the support available.
The release also praised BeyondHome, which has been in Arvada for more than 30 years. The nonprofit partners with a number of other groups, including the Arvada Housing Authority and Red Rocks Community College, to help homeless individuals achieve self-sufficiency.
BeyondHome provides 40 affordable apartments for families to stay in; offers a variety of courses on career-building and a healthy lifestyle; and oversees members’ community service efforts.
The organization also offers a number of services to low-income children in Arvada, such as tutoring and summer enrichment activities, said Executive Director Karen Allen.
Allen said the award couldn’t have come at a better time, as the recognition has allowed BeyondHome to spread the word of its change in name Jan. 1.
One of the reasons for the name change was to ensure participants’ involvement is “something they can be proud of,” Allen said.
“Our families do really hard work while they’re here, and they do really good work,” she said. “We want them to have the dignity they deserve.”
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