Meet Caitlin and Justin. They call each other their “partner in crime.”
Their official titles are Secure Jobs Navigator and Recovery Specialist and they are two of the creative and compassionate frontline staff of Secure Jobs Connecticut.
For the past two+ years they have worked as part of a team to help families transitioning out of homelessness in Fairfield County, CT. They connect the heads of these families (mostly single moms with young children) to education, training, and other supports―like child care and transportation―so their clients can get jobs and never return to homelessness.
Caitlin and Justin see the real-life consequences of the way housing agencies and employment agencies operate in relative isolation. And they witness the incredible resilience of the moms who must navigate a maze of agencies every day to keep their children safe and housed.
“Prior to Secure Jobs existing, we had a homeless service system and a workforce development system and very seldom did those two systems actually touch,” says Caitlin. “We were just two separate things seeing a lot of the same people but not really linking up together and understanding what each other does. Secure Jobs fills that gap in terms of binding those two systems together so that we understand each other, we understand the needs of our clients from both the housing and workforce perspective, and we understand the way to keep people stably housed is to get them employed.”
The Trust is honored to support their work along with more than 25 other private and state funders in Connecticut who joined us to create this pilot program.