About Would Works

Would Works provides a work opportunity for people who are homeless or living in poverty.

Started in Los Angeles, Would Works creates and sells wood products that are hand-crafted by individuals who have an immediate financial need and are working towards a goal.

Simple needs for complex lives

When someone is living in poverty they are often preoccupied with the task of fulfilling simple needs that many of us take for granted.

Their goal could be a new pair of eyeglasses or dentures, a bus ticket home or money toward a first month’s rent. We provide a way for these men and women to finance their goals while gaining work experience, learning concrete skills and receiving a recent job reference.

How it Works

would works thank you card

The Artisan

  • Is living in poverty or experiencing homelessness
  • Has a financial need and wants to work in order to meet it
  • Is referred to Would Works by an employment specialist or case worker

Would Works

  • Helps the artisan set a goal and work to fund their financial need
  • Hosts the workshops where they make hand-crafted products and gain woodworking skills
  • Provides them with a job reference


  • Buy hand crafted wood products from our online store, or donate
  • The revenue from your support funds our workshops
  • You are an essential part of the process that has given over 100 people and counting, the opportunity to work for immediate financial needs
  • How we started

    Our story is one of listening to people in need and coming up with a way to help.

    Connor Johnson started working with people living in poverty in 2009 through a year of service with AmeriCorps. During that time he was a Case Manager at a homeless shelter in the Skid Row area of downtown Los Angeles. He met hundreds of people who stayed in the area.

    He listened to their hopes and dreams and the obstacles they face every day. Time and time again he would hear them say - I WOULD WORK... if I could.

    The global financial crisis had contributed to the problem; companies weren’t hiring and funding to social service agencies was being cut across the board.

    Connor decided that he needed to find a way to help the people he was working with and give them the dignity of working for their needs. He enlisted his parents, Katherine and Barry, and together with the help of family and friends, they created Would Works.

    Would Works Board of Directors

    Roberto Sheinberg
    Daniela Gerson
    Stephanie Ragle
    Tyler Fong
    Connor Johnson
    Would Works Representative
    Lee Buchanan
    Would Works Representative
    Isreal Guillen
    Nick Offerman
    Donna Kirkner
    Jeri Wingo
    Holly Kretschmar

    Our Partners

    Would Works relies on the generous support and in-kind donations from the following community partners: