When Everybody Wins



Just in time for the holidays, this happened. 

A Papa Murphy’s pizza restaurant in Bellingham, WA partnered with a local job placement service to re-assign and elevate a popular disabled neighborhood panhandler, creating a win-win-win situation for the ages. 

Joe Beadles made a decent supplemental living for years working the southeast corner of James and Alabama Streets in Bellingham’s up-and-coming Sunnyland neighborhood with a cardboard sign that read NO DRUGS. In October, thanks in part to the creativity of a forward-thinking caseworker, Joe was handed a W2 and issued a uniform and a foamcore arrow sign advertising Papa’s famous pizza dough (baked fresh daily). Joe’s territory hadn’t changed– but everything else had.

“Before Joe and I began applying to barker jobs, we looked for warehouse work for him,” said Isaac Folkerts, an Employment Specialist at Service Alternatives, a multi-faceted human services agency based in Whatcom County.  “I came across an ad for a different restaurant barker position. I talked to Joe about it and he agreed to apply. “ Continue reading