In 1984, John Dillon began his lifetime of service at the ripe age of 22. With only $2,500 to his name from a recent summer job, Dillon invested in founding a nonprofit organization that would provide food and clothing to the homeless population living on Skid Row. This organization, now named Chrysalis, has grown rapidly into a major NGO in the LA area that helps the homeless and low-income earners find and keep jobs. Basing the mission of the company around a steady job for each individual in their care allows for those in need to pursue self-sufficiency and a life outside of poverty.
Chrysalis has developed into an innovative social enterprise model, now employing a large number of the same population they sought to help. It was one of the first of its kind in its temporary employment program, setting an example for future leaders to follow. Well-respected and wide-reaching, the organization has actively formed partnerships with other leading service providers to set their clients up for success. Dillon’s transition from a goods distribution nonprofit to one that is sustainably connecting people with jobs demonstrates an acute knack for problem-solving; his insight and discernment into targeting the root of homelessness and impoverishment has allowed him to positively affect the lives of thousands of LA’s own.
Beginning with the name, Chrysalis seeks to turn caterpillars into butterflies – or better yet, the hopeless into those equipped with an entirely new attitude and lifestyle. Dillon’s desire with Chrysalis is that it would be a “supportive cocoon,” supplying all the necessary resources, compassion, and care as each person makes their life-altering transition. Rather than treating clients as if they were in a revolving door, Chrysalis serves its 60,000+ clients and alumni with dignity and respect, prioritizing the humane treatment of each individual that seeks their services. Dillon’s heart for the homeless demonstrates a remarkable ability to see a need and then meet it; while he has since ventured into other industries, he remains an active participant and supporter of Chrysalis in all its humanitarian glory.
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