A move into sustained work is one of Broadway’s core ambitions for the people we support. This research shows that work can be a central part of the journey away from homelessness: building self-esteem, enabling financial independence and bringing a sense of meaning and possibility to people’s lives.
However, only around two to 14% of people living in homelessness accommodation work. This research aimed to explore how more homeless people can be supported to move into and stay in work, through in-depth interviews with 50 homeless people over up to their first year after starting a new job.
Some key conclusions we have drawn from the research are:
- It is not the job that many working homeless people struggle with: it is issues outside work, including a lack affordable housing, low wages, and a benefits system which means financial insecurity and in-work poverty for many. Several participants were worse off in work than on benefits.
- Support is essential to help many homeless people move into and sustain work. This includes help to build up confidence and experience, to secure in-work benefits, and to overcome challenges such as bullying or poor management at work.
- Employers can play a vital role in supporting homeless people to move into and stay in work, from an available, supportive and approachable line manager, to providing opportunities to learn and develop at work.
A guide for support providers*
If you work to support homeless people to move into and stay in employment, as a key worker, an employment and skills advisor, a Work Programme advisor, or in another role, we hope this guide will help you. It outlines the common challenges people face after starting work both in and outside work, and sets out how you can support your clients before they start work, when they are offered a job, and after they have started work. It also discusses ways you can ensure that your organisational practices meet this group’s needs.
A guide for people who are homeless *
If you’re living in a hostel or supported housing for homeless people and thinking about starting work, this booklet will help you learn from the experiences of other people who have done it. This report takes you through how you can get ready for work, start work and keep work, step by step.
A guide for employers
Employers and managers can play a vital role in helping people make work part of their journey out of homelessness. This report highlights ways in which your organisation can help homeless people thrive at work. While the people interviewed had an experience of homelessness, homelessness does not happen in isolation and their other experiences and the challenges that they faced were wide ranging. Many of the findings would be applicable to those who face other barriers to work, for example having an unspent criminal conviction.
* Free printed copies are available on request from firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information, please contact Juliette Hough, Research Manager, Broadway. Tel. 020 7710 0601, email: Juliette.email@example.com