← Back to News

October 25, 2022

‘There’s so much more to homelessness employment work than job outcomes’

In July, some of our Implementation team visited The Passage in Westminster, to find out more about their Employment support programme, Tracks Employment and Training. The Passage operates a day centre in Westminster, offering people experiencing homelessness a place to eat, shower, do laundry, study, get a haircut, and attend medical appointments. Our team met with Emily Rycroft-Huddart, who heads up the Tracks programme.

‘For some people work is the only way off the streets, especially for people with no recourse or access to benefits.’

The employment team supports people who want to move towards work - at whatever stage of readiness to work they are in. For some people, they may just need somewhere to use a computer to apply for jobs. For others, there may be barriers with language, health, or any number of consequences of the trauma of homelessness, and they might need to start at a different place. This support could be through one-to-one coaching or more informal workshops for people to gain the skills to become work-ready.

‘We try to replicate a work environment but we aren’t inflexible - we do understand that there are challenges to seeking employment specific to experiencing homelessness.’ 

Referrals come to them from workers in the day centre who do an initial assessment of anyone who drops in. If in the initial assessment someone wants to be referred for support, the next step is for them to meet with the Tracks team and sign a client agreement. This is important - it sets out what the person can expect from the service, and what is expected of them. The support offer is tailored to the person to ensure that they have the best chance of meeting their employment goals.

‘We make action plans, and compare someone’s career goals to what we can offer. We look at where our advice and experience is appropriate and where there might be better options that we can support someone to access. It’s important to be honest and realistic about what you can do, and about what you are best placed to do.’ 

Tracks Employment and Training offer help with CVs, practice interviews, employment skills and employability workshops. They also work to engage employers, and have big plans for the year ahead for a careers day, bringing the employers to them to widen employment opportunities for people experiencing homelessness. 

Earlier this year we at the Centre for Homelessness Impact published an Evidence Note that looked at the evidence around the relationship between homelessness and employment. Like Emily, we would love to see more research on the impact of programmes like these - on outcomes beyond just employment. 

If you want to stay up to date on what the Centre for Homelessness Impact is up to - including the release of evidence papers and practical implementation support offers, sign up to be part of our What Works Community.

← Back to News