Ending Homelessness Today — Employment
How Assets Can Help the Homeless
December 04, 2012
As the founder of the consulting firm Asset Building Strategies (ABS), Heather McCulloch, notes in her primer “Asset Building 101,” “Income enables families to get by. Assets enable them to weather financial crises, invest in their children and their community, plan for a secure retirement, and pass resources on to future generations.
Assets, as you probably already know, can be anything from cash savings to home equity, and as you probably also know, it’s really important for your financial health to have them. But it might seem strange to talk about asset building for people who are experiencing homelessness or who are at risk of falling into homelessness, as they tend to have few, if any, assets.
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Why Transitional Jobs are Good for Providers, Communities
October 23, 2012
When it comes to housing stability, stable employment is often a crucial component. While many people experiencing homelessness are employed in some capacity, many individuals within the homeless population face significant barriers to employment. These include lack of experience, physical or mental health issues, challenges related to re-entry from incarceration or hospitalization, and homelessness itself. Fortunately, practical tools are available to help individuals overcome these barriers.
For example, the National Transitional Jobs Network launched its Working to End Homelessness Initiative in 2011 “to shine a spotlight on the important role of employment solutions in addressing homelessness and to identify and disseminate promising employment practices.” The organization uses transitional jobs strategies to help employ people who face the greatest barriers to employment. The National Transitional Jobs Network has identified four reasons why transitional jobs are good for homeless assistance providers and communities:
Transitional jobs help low-income people with barriers to employment enter the workforce, avoid re-incarceration, and reduce their reliance on public benefits;
Transitional jobs programs strengthen communities through investments in workers;
Transitional jobs programs help employers meet their goals; and
Transitional jobs programs can yield significant cost savings for states.
While transitional jobs can reintegrate people experiencing homelessness back into the workforce, they are just one component of a larger strategy. Transitional jobs are short-term in nature, so the relationship between a homeless assistance provider and their clients should be long-term. In fact, for most clients, the relationship with... Read More »
Meet the Alliance’s New Economic Development Policy Fellow
September 04, 2012
Today’s post was written by Edward J. SanFilippo, Economic Development Policy Fellow for the Alliance.
As we return to work after the Labor Day long weekend, we at the Alliance would like to recognize all those whose experience of homelessness is related to unemployment or underemployment. Labor Day is “a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country,” according to the Department of Labor.
At the height of the economic crisis a number of years ago, we completed a short series of briefs called Economy Bytes, which explored various economic indicators and their relationship to homelessness: Doubled Up in the United States, Working Poor People in the United States, and Effect of State and Local Budget Cuts on Homelessness. Until now, we have been unable to explore these economic challenges in greater depth.
After spending the summer as the Alliance’s Youth Policy Fellow, I am extremely pleased to have the opportunity to spend the upcoming semester in the new role of Economic Development Policy Fellow. In this new capacity, my primary emphasis will be on investigating employment initiatives for different sub-populations experiencing homelessness.
I’ll also be examining federal policies such as the Earned Income Tax Credit, exploring projects devoted to asset building and microenterprise, compiling a brief assessment of what other countries have done to address similar issues, and so forth.
This... Read More »