The Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce has partnered with the local nonprofit organization Chrysalis to find transitional employment opportunities in an internship program for economically disadvantaged and formerly homeless residents who want to work.

The internship program will focus on what is described as the 78 percent of homeless people who are extremely motivated to work but simply need help re-entering the labor market or some on-the-job training.

Chrysalis provides critical employment services to nearly 2,300 homeless and impoverished individuals annually throughout Santa Monica and Los Angeles County. For those with numerous barriers to employment, Chrysalis provides transitional jobs through its maintenance and staffing businesses.

In the Santa Monica program, Chrysalis will provide fully screened and prepared workers for 60-to-90-day internships in local businesses. Participating businesses will pay Chrysalis an hourly fee for each worker and Chrysalis will process all payroll and provide workers compensation, liability insurance and bonding.

“It is a great way for individual businesses to make a meaningful contribution to the problem of homelessness in our community,” chamber president Kathryn Dodson said. “In fact, it is our attempt to respond to the requests we get from members asking what they, as individual business owners, can do to help.”

Internship opportunities include clerical, maintenance, kitchen, warehouse and other customer support positions.

“Our organization’s philosophy is that a steady job is the single most important step in a person’s transition to long-term self-sufficiency, and we simply could not accomplish that task without organizations like the Santa Monica Chamber and local businesses that are willing to work hand-in-hand with us to make it a reality,” said Adlai Wertman, Chrysalis president and chief executive officer.

The Santa Monica Chamber has started a door-to-door campaign to promote the initiative.

“We promise to share the results with other chambers and business groups,” Dodson said.

Information about the internship program, Rick Stoff at Chrysalis, (310) 392-4117 ext. 322.

Information about the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce,, and about Chrysalis,