Unemployment, and the barriers towards being employed, are a major stumbling block when it comes to fighting homelessness. This is something which the homeless have to deal with constantly, not just due to the increased unemployment levels which Covid-19 has unfortunately caused in the UK, and world-wide.
The Passage?s Client Development team provide clients with life skills to help them to end their homelessness by returning to work. Support includes computer training, literacy and numeracy classes, help with CV’s and finding jobs, and financial and welfare rights advice. When someone sleeping rough finds work, to ensure that tiredness or ill-health does not lead to them losing the job, The Passage provides funding for accommodation, travel and sustenance until they are paid.
Many of the people who arrive at The Passage Resource Centre identify themselves as willing to work in their initial assessments. Not only is the overall percentage of people expressing interest to work higher, but the percentage of people presenting at our Charity’s services with past employment history has also increased in the past year.
Employment is a key route out of homelessness ? our clients desperately want to change their situations. They do not want to be living on the streets or insecurely housed. The role of The Passage is to remove any obstacle to finding and sustaining work that our clients may face such as:
- Lack of confidence ? which can be vastly improved with training and encouragement
- No money or clothing for interviews – we provide funding for travel and smart,?suitable work attire from our clothing store
- No bank account as a result of debt or debt on their bank account – our Money Advice worker will liaise with the bank or debtor to agree a managable payment plan
- Poor computer skills ? one-to-one and group IT training sessions are regularly delivered in the Resource Centre
- Tiredness or poor health as a result of sleeping rough or in night shelters ? clients will be referred to The Passage Health team (which includes Mental Health and Substance Abuse specialists as well as NHS Nurses) and when in work, they will have funding for a room in a B&B until they receive their first pay packet and can move somewhere longer term
- A long gap in employment history or a criminal record ? we will help clients to address and explain this in interviews
- Outdated qualifications ? we facilitate various training schemes such as Bounceback to refresh clients? knowledge
- Not having the necessary immigration status to be eligible for work ? our Immigration Solicitor and EUSS team will support clients to obtain the correct status and papers
- Onward support – The Passage operates a mentoring service, pairing a client with someone in a skilled job who can offer support and advice to help manage the stress and complexity of returning to a working life
No matter how difficult the challenges we face, we strive to obtain the best outcomes for our homeless clients. This is why all the profits from bookings at Cathedral View go back into our charity, to fund these life changing services.
Credit: Emily Richmond, Corporate Partnerships Manager