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A Novel Idea

A Novel Idea logo
What is A Novel Idea?

A Novel Idea, formerly known as Youth Simply Giving Back, is a social enterprise that provides job training and skills development for the former foster youth and formerly homeless youth ages 18-24 who reside in LSS of Northern California transitional and permanent supportive housing programs.  A Novel Idea is part of the LSS Youth Education and Employment Initiative (read more here) which places a greater emphasis on services that increase educational completion and attainment of living-wage employment leading to lifetime self-sufficiency.

A Novel Idea resells used books online. The focus of A Novel Idea is on employment literacy but youth participating in the social enterprise must also be working towards (or have already received) their GED/diploma. The program gives youth immediate exposure to having a job, including a set work schedule and on-the-job responsibilities. Youth learn valuable job skills in the areas of computing, warehouse, business development, team work, time management and professional communication.

Since its inception in 2012, more than 78% of youth who have participated in A Novel Idea have found gainful employment in the community.

A Novel Idea
How You Can Give Back

Your donations of new and gently used books are needed to sustain A Novel Idea. All types of books-including self-help books, textbooks, and cookbooks-are welcome! For more information about how you can help, please contact Rachel Flores at 925.825.1060 x20 or 

Visit A Novel Idea's online store front to purchase a book from its extensive inventory. All proceeds go back into our programs.

  • ELCA
  • LCMS
  • LSA
  • Dignity Health
    Dignity Health

    Collaborative partnership with LLS of Northern California in Housing with Dignity program, Sacramento

  • Received grant for $3,000 2017 request

  • Frank A. Campini Foundation
    Frank A. Campini Foundation
  • Lutheran Care for the Aging
    Lutheran Care for the Aging

    endowment that funds LSS Support for Seniors program in SF

  • Bernard E. and Alba Witkin Foundation

  • logo with both brands

  • for CDBG funding to renovate V Street property

  • World Centric
    World Centric

    In kind sponsor of compostable paper products to SF

  • Walter S. Johnson Foundation
    Walter S. Johnson Foundation

    grant for business planning related to youth employment program development

  • Wells Fargo
  • Anthem
  • Del E. Webb
    Del E. Webb
  • Safeway Foundation
    Safeway Foundation
  • Cal CASA
    Cal CASA
  • Kaiser Permanenete
  • Sisters of St. Joseph
  • Thrivent Financial

  • CFC
  • United Way
    United Way

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