IMPACT Employment Services


Best Practice | August 11, 2006

IMPACT, a program of the Friends of the Shattuck Shelter, is Greater Boston's largest employment service for homeless individuals and families. Since 1994, more than 2500 skilled job seekers have successfully obtained employment through the program. IMPACT's professional staff of employment counselors, job developers and educational and training specialists speaks a variety of languages and represents diverse cultural and economic backgrounds.

Target Population

IMPACT Employment Services serves people experiencing homelessness as well as people leaving correctional facilities.



There two ways people enter the IMPACT program. The first of these is through the homeless assistance system. The following are eligibility requirements for entering the program through the homeless assistance system:

  • Must comply with HUD definition of homeless
  • Must be referred by one of 140 partnering homeless service agencies
  • Preferably must have had at least 3 months sobriety if they have had a substance abuse issue in the past


The second way people enter the IMPACT program is through a closed referral process by the Department of Corrections. Those that are referred to the program meet with IMPACT counselors at least 4 times (once a month) while they are in prison before they officially enter the program upon release. Participation in the program after release is on a voluntary basis.



  • Outreach to 138 emergency shelters, transitional shelters, recovery programs, battered women's shelters and family shelters
  • Individual employment counseling and job search planning
  • Information, referrals and assistance to help people find and enroll in educational and job-skills training program throughout greater Boston
  • Resources for job searching, including:
    • Resume development
    • Interview skills, including videotaped practice
    • Education and training, including information and referrals to free and low-cost ESL, adult literacy and GED programs
    • Career development
    • Workshops on job search techniques and employment barriers
    • Job leads and employer contacts
    • Referrals for appropriate clothing
    • Internet and e-mail access
    • Current information and resources for community-based programs, institutes and colleges
    • Assistance determining financial aid options
    • Referral and follow-up to housing resources
  • For those entering through the Corrections system, services also include general case management and community support.


Source of Funding

  • Primary funding for IMPACT comes from HUD McKinney SHP funds.
  • Since summer 2001, IMPACT has secured funding from the Massachusetts Department of Corrections for services for people that have entered the program through the Department's closed referral system.



  • Under SHP, the program has served over 630 homeless individuals per year, 65 percent of which (or around 410 people per year) have found and maintained employment for 3 months or more, which enhances their ability to become self-sufficient.
  • According to data tracked from July 2002, out of 33 active clients who are out in the community, the segment of the program linked with the Department of Corrections has placed 18 people into housing and helped 22 successfully obtain jobs.


For further general information, contact:

Gillian Jesty
Director of Employment Services
Friends of the Shattuck Shelter
105 Chauncy Street
Boston, MA 02111

(617) 542-3388, ext. 11