From what we know based on the Saffron Strand experience in Richmond, conventional transitional employment programs tend to pigeon-hole the worker as a landscape laborer, janitor, maintenance “gofer,” etc. Such programs confine the participant’s expectations to the bottom of the hierarchy of needs – food, shelter, and maybe a little “walking around money.” If a
When we improve the employability and long-term employment of the homeless and those at risk of homelessness, then we empower them to: Optimize their human potential through productive work; Make positive contributions to their families, communities, and society at large; and Reduce their dependence on public assistance, including subsidized housing, health care, and other services.
Research dating back to the 1970s tracks a variety of employment programs for the “hard-to-employ,” including the homeless and other recipients of public assistance. The record shows only limited success in actually improving long-term employment of participants. The current generation of “transitional employment” programs provide various combinations of paid job training or subsidized temporary employment:
In this era of shrinking budgets for publicly-funded social services, we are seeing greater attention to best practices and cost-effectiveness in back-to-work programs for those receiving public assistance and those who are “hard-to-employ,” including the homeless. Recent research at the national level supports the need for more effective, lower cost, community-based programs like that of
As citizens and taxpayers, our current “investment” in homelessness is huge. But it is difficult to recognize its awesome size because we are feeding, housing, and caring for so many of the homeless in so many different programs already. These measures are humane and very important. But they are emergency measures, they are not permanent
The Contra Costa Inter-Jurisdictional Council on Homelessness recently issued an advisory on “key components” of the county’s use of more than $1.4 million of new federal funding intended to prevent homelessness and to find housing for those who lose it. This money was part of $1.5 billion in federal stimulus funding for homeless programs. This
According to news reports, cities in at least four states use a “cost-effective” way to reduce their homeless populations: Exportation. The link below is quite an eye opener as to what happens to people in our society when they fall on bad times. However, these folks at least have somewhere to go: See NBC News report.
In June, homeless Khadijah Williams graduated from Jefferson High School on the east side of Los Angeles. Her mother and younger sister, who are also homeless, said their goodbyes and Khadijah set off for summer college prep courses at Cornell University in New York state. In the fall, she was scheduled to start as a