The Home Care Workers Purpose Trust

In Washington State, a private joint employer of 38,000+ Individual Provider home care workers serves more than 70% of the public home care market. Consumer Direct Care Washington (CDWA) promotes quality jobs and protects the rights of those home care workers. The Individual Provider program’s workforce—those who benefit from these high-road practices—is nearly 90% women and disproportionately people of color.

That didn’t just happen. The Fund for Jobs Worth Owning (FJWO) made a big bet in July 2020 to finance CDWA, an enterprise set to become the largest worker-centered business in the United States. CDWA is a game-changing new project of the Home Care Workers Purpose Trust, which was created to take ownership interests in companies that administer large-scale home care programs, with the goal of bringing the worker-centered home care model of Cooperative Home Care Associates to providers nationwide. The Trust is a collaboration between the ICA Group, the oldest national organization dedicated to the development of worker cooperatives, Cooperative Home Care Associates (CHCA), the largest worker cooperative in the country, and the Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute (PHI), a national nonprofit working to transform eldercare and disability services. Through its ownership stake and resulting governance role, the Trust ensures that CDWA will always adhere to its purpose of promoting quality jobs for and protecting the rights of home care workers.

Projects like the Trust are extremely difficult to finance, yet have the potential for systemic, lasting change. As the joint venture in Washington is the Trust’s first project, there were no assets to back or help capitalize the loan. The Trust required flexible, deferred financing options that would not be available through a traditional bank or even a friendly loan fund based on the risk level. Fortunately, the Fund for Jobs Worth Owning was there to help. The investment is an extension of FJWO and ICA’s strategy for building large worker-centered companies and infrastructure for scaling employee ownership in the home care industry.

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