People experiencing homelessness or on the verge of homelessness have the most acute need for income, yet they are the least likely to be connected to training and job opportunities.
We support efforts to:
- improve the way education, job readiness, training, placement, and support organizations work together to reduce barriers to employment for low-skilled workers
- strengthen social enterprises that are successful in helping people who have experienced homelessness prepare for, find, and keep decent-paying jobs within thriving industries
- create better connections to employment for people served by rapid re-housing and re-entry initiatives
Most people experiencing homelessness have incomes well below the federal poverty level, $11, 880 for a single person and $20,160 for a family of three. Our home state of Connecticut has one of the highest costs of living in the country. A family in Connecticut needs an income 2 or 3 times higher than the federal poverty level just to meet their basic needs.
Yet in Connecticut and across the country, low-skilled workers have few opportunities to get the kind of jobs that would help them move out of poverty. To compete for jobs in today’s highly competitive labor market, low-skilled workers need additional preparation and training required for stable jobs in high-demand industries. High-performing employment initiatives incorporate technical training and education, employment preparation and placement services, and complementary social services in order to provide participants with foundational knowledge, skills, abilities, and personal resources for employment success.
- Technical training and education provides employees with concrete skills to improve their eligibility for employment in a particular industry such as occupation-driven curriculum, practical application of skills learned, internships while in training, and work opportunities such as transitional jobs, and training to obtain licensees or certifications required for employment. Learn more about our Employment and Educational Opportunity Fund which provides small, flexible grants to nonprofit organizations in Connecticut for educational or employment related expenses of homeless or formerly homeless individuals.
- Employer preparation and placement services helps employees with “soft skills” such as professionalism and communications and helps participants identify and apply to potential job opportunities.
- Support services connects employees to supports that help them overcome barriers to employment such childcare, transportation, housing, and substance abuse.
Our newest effort to strengthen employment outcomes for families experiencing homelessness launched in 2015. Secure Jobs Connecticut is a two-year pilot to increase the income of families in Connecticut transitioning from homelessness to housing by connecting them to the education, training, and supports they need to secure and maintain stable, competitive employment.