Employment opportunities are key to the prevention of, and successful transition out of, homelessness. Without a viable income many individuals, families and youth are unable to sustain housing over the long term. Therefore, funding programs that support employment services for vulnerable populations is an effective strategy for ending and reducing homelessness.
Strategies for Funders
- Fund strategies that are effective in connecting vulnerable and homeless job seekers with employment.
- Fund and promote transitional jobs, subsidized jobs, career ladder programs, appropriate alternative staffing programs, and social enterprise with built-in social supports for people with high barriers to employment; some best practices are outlined by the National Transitional Jobs Network’s Working to End Homelessness Initiative.
- Fund pilot programs that bond and strengthen connections between employment and homelessness solutions.
- Fund and promote programs that place clients in jobs that meet their interests, not just jobs that are available.
- Look for opportunities to co-locate programs, connecting homeless providers with employment programs.
- Fund and promote the successful engagement of private sector employers in hiring homeless and formerly homeless people, publicizing promising-practices.
- Leverage the Workforce Investment Act, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, and other government funding and collaborate work between the public and private sector.
- Promote the strategies employed by the Pathways Back to Work Act.
- Fund and promote opportunities that facilitate and convene workforce boards with local and state homeless officials to brainstorm how they can better work together.
- Facilitate workforce conferences to cross-pollinate ideas and share best-practices.