One of the most effective ways to support individuals as they move out of homelessness and into permanent housing is increasing access to meaningful and sustainable job training and employment. Like other Americans, people experiencing homelessness want to work — in fact, many are employed, but that employment is often precarious due to significant challenges created by lack of stable housing.
By better aligning our workforce and homelessness services and housing systems now, we can connect individuals to rewarding employment with sustainable wages and permanent housing, achieving long-term and positive outcomes for individuals, families, and our communities.
Programs designed to connect people to employment need to be accessible and responsive to people who have experienced homelessness. In addition to eliminating programmatic barriers, best practices need to be implemented across the country, and employment strategies need to be coordinated with housing and other interventions.
The good news is that there are new opportunities for those who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness. The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA)—the first legislative reform of the public workforce system since 1998—will help individuals access employment, education, training, and support services in the labor market.
The Council is pursuing the following strategies: