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How employment services support people out of homelessness


How employment services support job seekers experiencing homelessness

In the midst of life’s challenges, employment services can provide much needed support to those who are experiencing homelessness or unstable housing. With a range of services on offer, and a dedicated job coach, employment services play a vital role in helping individuals regain their independence and dignity. From job training, financial assistance and resume building, to connecting with potential employers, the support offered by employment services is a powerful tool in the journey towards stable housing, secure employment and a brighter future.

Challenges breaking out of homelessness

Breaking the cycle of homelessness can be challenging and can often be compounded by mental health conditions. Living with conditions like depression or anxiety while lacking stable accommodation amplifies the struggle. Securing employment isn’t just about income; it offers a lifeline to stability, a structured routine, and a sense of purpose. It’s a powerful step toward rebuilding lives, as it can address both financial and mental health needs simultaneously. Employment services are here to help along the journey.

How employment services help

Employment services extend a crucial lifeline to clients experiencing homelessness. Beyond job placements and employment counselling services, these services can provide holistic support, including wellness services like counselling and addiction treatment. These resources address underlying mental health and substance abuse issues that can prolong homelessness.

Additionally, employment services recognise the importance of digital skills in the modern job market. They offer training programs to equip individuals with essential computer skills, expanding employability. Digital skills also allow people to report to Centrelink each month, job search and contact employers regarding opportunities.

By addressing both well-being and digital literacy, these services empower clients to overcome barriers, upskill, find stable employment, and ultimately break free from the cycle of homelessness.

Job search assistance

An employment services provider, along with a dedicated job coach, offers invaluable job search assistance. They help refine resumes offer interview coaching and connect job seekers with potential employers, increasing the chances of finding meaningful employment.

On-the-job training

On-the-job training is a critical support for people looking for work, especially those experiencing homelessness who may have been out of the workforce for several years. It offers hands-on experience, skill development, and a smoother transition into new roles, giving individuals the confidence and competence needed to succeed in their careers.

Workplace adjustments

Workplace modifications can be pivotal for individuals transitioning from homelessness to employment. These changes, such as flexible schedules, accommodate specific needs, reducing potential barriers and helping workers maintain their newfound stability while fostering a more inclusive and supportive work environment.

Financial assistance

Employment services can offer a range of financial supports to help job seekers get back on their feet and reduce the barriers to employment. This support can include money for work clothing, transport or fuel vouchers, or grocery bills, easing the financial burdens that might hinder their ability to secure employment and regain stability.

For Damien, financial support came in the form of covering the cost to complete the tickets and licences required to start work.

Damien has experienced numerous barriers in his life; living in foster care as a teenager and becoming homeless in his early adulthood. As a result, he fell into a pattern of substance misuse and his mental health declined. From Midland, WA, Damien had been in-and-out of employment since 2016. He did not have motivation to work. When he first visited the atWork Australia Workforce Australia team in Midland, his mental health and his home life were considered high-risk.

However, through the Points Based Activation System (PBAS), Damien was able to achieve the required points by attending in-house wellness sessions. This gave Damien the support he needed to get back on track. Damien’s Job Coaches also referred him to various programs to gain tickets and licences, such as his White Card and Working at Heights. The experience and learning were great, and from here, Damien expressed that he wanted to work in security. Once Damien received his licence, Cailyn reached out to her colleague in the Employer Engagement team, Jennine, to refer Damien to security companies in the local area and advocate on his behalf.

Damien was successful in securing a position as an RSA Officer. I am grateful for everyone’s time and effort. I am super excited to start a new chapter. To anyone who is struggling, put in the effort and time, and don’t be afraid to speak up.”

Case management

A case manager can provide personalised support, connecting clients to vital resources, such as housing, healthcare, and employment services. They offer guidance, advocacy, and a structured plan, empowering individuals to navigate their journey towards self-sufficiency and stability.

Image or Terrel and his Job Coach

For Terrell, his job coach was there to offer this support.

Workforce Australia client, Terrell, first came to the atWork Australia site in Perth North, WA, feeling unmotivated. He was homeless and struggling to find meaningful employment solo, after constant knockbacks by employers. Despite being unmotivated, Terrell was optimistic on finding work. This did not go unnoticed by his Job Coach, Kitana. “He has always shown commitment to his appointments and meeting his requirements to increase his success.”

This only made Kitana more motivated in finding him the perfect position. Bob has gone above and beyond to support Terrell and motivate him, not only within his work environment but even in his personal life, by helping him find stable housing.

“I am thankful to have had this experience and am grateful for the services provided by atWork Australia.” – Terrell, Client.

Other resources

In Australia, resources like AskIzzy provide critical assistance to those experiencing homelessness. It’s a comprehensive online directory that connects individuals to shelters, food services, healthcare, and support programs, helping them access essential services and regain their footing. You can also check out our employment agencies FAQ, where we explore how our services actively assist individuals transitioning out of homelessness into stable employment.

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