A national network of funders supporting strategic, innovative, and effective solutions to homelessness

Ending Homelessness Through Employment

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.

  • 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.


We joined Funders Together because we believe in the power of philanthropy to play a major role in ending homelessness, and we know we have much to learn from funders across the country.

-Christine Marge, Director of Housing and Financial Stability at United Way of Greater Los Angeles

I am thankful for the local partnerships here in the Pacific Northwest that we’ve been able to create and nurture thanks to the work of Funders Together. Having so many of the right players at the table makes our conversations – and all of our efforts – all the richer and more effective.

-David Wertheimer, Deputy Director at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Very often a lack of jobs and money is not the cause of poverty, but the symptom. The cause may lie deeper in our failure to give our fellow citizens a fair chance to develop their own capacities, in a lack of education and training, in a lack of medical care and housing, in a lack of decent communities in which to live and bring up their children.

-President Lyndon B. Johnson, 1964 State of the Union Address

Funders Together has given me a platform to engage the other funders in my community. Our local funding community has improved greatly to support housing first models and align of resources towards ending homelessness.

-Leslie Strnisha, Vice President at Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland

Our family foundation convenes local funders and key community stakeholders around strategies to end homelessness in Houston. Funders Together members have been invaluable mentors to us in this effort, traveling to our community to share their expertise and examples of best practices from around the nation.

-Nancy Frees Fountain, Managing Director at The Frees Foundation

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