Policy paper

employment

What barriers do people experiencing homelessness face when seeking employment?

Project Details

Last updated:

August 4, 2022

Status

Completed

Partners

Contact

hello@homelessnessimpact.org

Key reports

The relationship between homelessness and employment is a complex one and many people find themselves experiencing homelessness whilst still in employment. Often, those who are not employed but want to work, are unable to for a variety of reasons, for example if they don’t have access to a bank account.

Good quality, stable employment is vital for wellbeing along with sustaining accommodation, but it is clear that being employed is not on its own, protection from becoming homeless. Therefore meaningful work is one of the key factors in ending homelessness.

This project aims to look at employment and homelessness in the context of the new economy following COVID-19 and examines the barriers to employment for people experiencing homelessness.

Findings

  • Local authorities should be encouraged and assisted by government to develop 'homelessness employment pathways' which provide tailored employment advice to anyone receiving statutory support to prevent or relieve homelessness
  • A focus should be given to helping anyone who has lost their home as a result of Covid-19 related unemployment to return to work as quickly as possible, and specialist programmes for those with the greatest barriers to employment.
  • Programmes based on the Individual Placement and Support (IPS) model can be promising for people facing the greatest barriers to employment

Portrait photograph of Paul Larkin sitting down

Case Study

'I took the time to look for work and also wrote a book. The hardest thing was not being able to check my emails constantly. I missed out on a job because I didn’t have enough money to go to the internet cafe. I found it impossible to get a job whilst I was without an address. Interviews back then were more judgemental and I never had appropriate clothing. They would always require a home address too, so as soon as I had one I was able to apply for college and get a job in a supermarket.' - Paul Larkin

How we went about it

The Covid-19 recession is likely to exacerbate difficulties in finding meaningful work and there is the possibility of both increased homelessness because of Covid-19 related job losses, and greater barriers to employment for those that are further from the labour market. This prompted us to carry out this project which synthesises existing evidence from our evidence and gap maps with the purpose of giving precise and practical recommendations but also promoting experimentation.

What's next

  • Explore current practice to identify opportunities to pilot the pathway approach 
  • Identify current practice that is most closely related to IPS and explore tweaking models to e individual placement support (IPS) and evaluate 
  • Funding opportunities to pilot the model across area including funding for evaluation 
  • Explore if government wish to pilot IPS as part of the RSI programme or a separate programme as part of their rough sleeping action plan 
  • Explore joint Department for Work and Pensions and Department for Levelling Up Housing and Communities policy/funding options to develop the homelessness employment pathway pilot the pathway and IPS approaches.

Team

Tim Gray, Centre for Homelessness Impact

Project Details

Last updated:

August 4, 2022

Status

Completed

Partners

Funded by

Contact

hello@homelessnessimpact.org

Key reports

What barriers do people experiencing homelessness face when seeking employment?

Topic
project dates
September 2020
project leads
hello@homelessnessimpact.org
What barriers do people experiencing homelessness face when seeking employment?
The relationship between homelessness and employment is a complex one. Despite the record levels of employment in recent years across the UK, homelessness has risen in many places, and many people lose their home whilst they are in work. Nevertheless, most of those experiencing homelessness do not have a job and the vast majority of those people want to work This policy paper looks at employment and homelessness in the context of the new economy following COVID-19.
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