Restore Merced – Merced, Calif.
- Emerging Leader: Matt St. Pierre
- Grant Program: Emerging Leader
- Amount of Grant: $15,000
- Dates of Grant Term: August 2018 – August 2020
Matt St. Pierre is the co-founder and executive director of Restore Merced, Merced, Calif. He has led the development of current programming, recruited and trained volunteers, and developed significant relationships with neighbors. St. Pierre was first exposed to faith-based community development work as a college student while working with a youth job training program through Restore St. Louis and New City Fellowship Church in St. Louis. After working in vocational ministry in San Francisco, Calif., for seven years – both in college ministry and community development in the Tenderloin neighborhood – St. Pierre moved back home to Merced and co-founded Restore Merced. He is passionate about empowering communities on the margins of society to move towards God’s intended flourishing. St. Pierre has a master of divinity from Western Theological Seminary, Holland, Mich., and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, Calif.
Restore Jobs is a holistic program providing work experience, education, counseling, and long term placement in order to connect those who are most disenfranchised to opportunities for self-sufficient flourishing. For 9-12 months, participants will receive paid work experience through contracted work for the city of Merced. Simultaneously, the first half of the program will consist of education that provides a foundation for success in work – Jobs for Life classes, Faith and Finance, life skills, anger management, etc. At the halfway point, the student, along with program leaders, will identify a fitting career path and then receive the necessary training and certification (i.e., welding and fabrication, auto mechanic, and other various trades). Restore Merced will also continue to build a network of local employers to place these individuals into entry level work opportunities upon completion of the program. Quarterly follow-ups will take place with graduates after job placement that includes a savings matching program up to $250/quarter for the first year after program completion.