Homeless individuals often face a skills barrier to finding employment, as well as the added obstacle of an absence from the workforce. Our coalition members have developed extensive job services, including workforce training and job placement to help homeless adults find and retain employment. Our organizations understand the importance of finding a job and have created multiple social enterprise businesses to employ homeless adults.
- Project Place runs three businesses as part of their Social Enterprises piece that provide paid employment for homeless adults. In 2015, Social Enterprises hired 94 men and women, with 69% of graduates transitioning into stable employment. The center also has an On-the-Job Trainer (OJT) working with Social Enterprise clients needing more in-depth training.
- Pine Street Inn has two social enterprise businesses — a catering service and a building maintenance service — which provide training opportunities for men and women transitioning out of homeless and into the workforce.
- Through the 14-week Moving Ahead Program (MAP), St. Francis House focuses on vocational rehabilitation by preparing individuals with histories of homelessness, mental illness, substance abuse, and incarceration for employment. The program serves 200 students per year and has graduated over 1,500 men and women since 1995. Last year, 54% of MAP students graduated and 62% were employed on the day of graduation with an average hourly wage of $11.59.
- Father Bill’s & MainSpring has fully incorporated workforce development into all of its programming as a core part of their mission. In 2013-2014, Father Bill’s & MainSpring helped 200 people find employment through the shelters’ vocational programs, including WorkExpress and WorkReady, and U.S. Workforce (a program for veterans). Participants receive job readiness training, transitional employment opportunities, job search and placement, and post placement job retention services. Since 2009, more than 700 people have obtained jobs through Father Bill’s & MainSpring.
- In Boston Rescue Mission’s job readiness program, clients learn and develop the work skills, coping abilities, positive attitudes and self confidence to be successful in today’s job market. The Mission collaborates with several vocational programs in the area to prepare clients for realistic positions of employment, maintaining a Job Referral Network where local companies partner with the Boston Rescue Mission to provide employment opportunities.
- The Boston Public Health Commission operates two paid, hands-on job-training programs, The Work Experience Program and The Serving Ourselves Program, as homeless adults have the opportunity to work in social enterprises and transition out of homelessness. Together, these programs are successful in helping almost 70% of program participants in moving from homelessness to permanent employment and housing.