Clean Turn is a cleaning company with a purpose — not only do they provide quality cleaning services; they employ people who have been affected by trafficking, domestic violence, and other vulnerable populations and work to raise awareness about these issues.
NOTE: When the podcast was recorded, they were called She Has a Name Cleaning, but have since adopted the name of their parent company.
What does it mean to be affected by trafficking?
Amanda Wells shared her story. She was introduced to drugs in high school and for a long time had her use under control. But at some point it spiraled out of control – she lost her children and ended up on the street, even resorting to selling herself to get high. She ended up in CATCH Court, a specialty docket in the justice system aiming at identifying victims of human trafficking and providing a rigorous program that gives these ladies an alternative.
But as you’re getting back on your feet, finding employment is still a challenge. Clean Turn opened their doors and gave Amanda an opportunity. She’s been there two years and has grown to become a team leader.
I feel like it gives me a greater purpose to work and help other girls that are going through the same thing. ~Amanda Wells
It’s been extremely rewarding for Amanda, and having people trust her fills her with hope. But Clean Turn also gives her a chance to help others who have been through similar situations, and that support is transformational.
How does the business work?
Managing Director, Kelsie Johnson, said their focus first is on providing top quality cleaning services. They don’t hire everyone — they’ll qualify where people are in their recovery, and point them to their next steps if they’re not ready to join the workforce.
They’re not significantly different from a for-profit business, but they do approach their fellow employees with understanding and structuring their teams so that individuals are set up to succeed.
Challenges can look like, “great I am sober and clean. I have a job now and all of a sudden life gets crazy again”. And so how do I not revert to old behaviors how do I have a new healthy support group. How do I cut out things that probably aren’t helpful and could be a trigger in my life. So it’s a lot of just coaching. ~Kelsie Johnson
Kelsie herself had never run a social enterprise before — but she couldn’t resist an opportunity that mixed the purpose of the work that she does. And she doesn’t see herself ever going back.
What’s it like running a social enterprise?
For others interested in becoming a social entrepreneur, Kelsie told me, “Fear can be a big obstacle, but I think if you have that passion if you’re willing to learn and just listen. I would say go for it.”
It’s not always easy though, and she wasn’t expecting what it would mean to listen to the stories of those she works with:
I don’t think I was ready to take on the pain of their stories… and you’re amazed because you see the new person if you will and so you’re just kind of like I can’t imagine you any differently. You’re happy, you’re smiling. But to know that you’ve lived this history of pain or abuse or hardship it’s just amazing that you’re here and it puts it into perspective. Honestly when maybe something small at work happened and I’m like oh they should know not to do blank but you understand like Oh man that’s a that’s a big step for them in where they’re at.
I’ve rarely met someone who has said their life is easy but listening to stories like Amanda’s, you realize how some people have endured much more difficult situations. And I’m so grateful for companies like Clean Turn who are giving people like Amanda an opportunity to grow and thrive.
I just completed the human trafficking training, by their partner organization She has a Name – I found it very informative, especially for connecting us with all sorts of organizations tackling human trafficking in different ways. You can find more about the training at shehasaname.org