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Making Employment Work for People who are homeless and experience multiple barriers. Serena M. Powell, MS, CRC Executive Director. History . Boston’s West End in 1877 Cooperative Society for Visitors Among Boston’s Poor Women – gain skills to support themselves

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making employment work for people who are homeless and experience multiple barriers

Making Employment Work for People who are homeless and experience multiple barriers

Serena M. Powell, MS, CRC

Executive Director

history
History
  • Boston’s West End in 1877
  • Cooperative Society for Visitors Among Boston’s Poor
    • Women – gain skills to support themselves
    • Men - Habits of Temperance and Good Hygiene
  • Started serving homeless population in 1997
participant profile
Participant Profile
  • 90% of those served have at least one disability
  • 75% have two or more disabling conditions
  • 40% Homeless are at-risk of homelessness
  • Gender: 61% Male and 39% Female
  • Average Age – 43 years old
  • 50% Caucasian, 32% African American, 11% Latino, 3% Asian
core services
Core Services
  • Core Services include
    • Intensive Case Management
    • Vocational Assessment
    • Assistive Technology Assessment and Training
    • Transitional Job Programs with Paid Wages
    • Classroom Based- Credentialed Programs
    • Job Placement
    • Post Placement and 12 months Follow Up
transitional job programs
Transitional Job Programs
  • Areas
    • Food Service and Catering
    • Housekeeping and Facility Maintenance
    • Grounds maintenance (Streetscapes)
    • Mailing and Production Center (long-term)
transitional jobs cont
Transitional Jobs (cont)
  • Structure
    • Up to 20 hours a week, Hands on
    • Paid, minimum wage, DOL certificate or
    • Piece rate based on performance
    • Graduate to internships with employers
    • NISH Placements (Ability One Program)
credentialed training programs
Credentialed Training Programs
  • Portable Credential, Higher Wages, Career Paths, Dedicated Employers
  • At Your Service – Hotel and Hospitality Training
    • American Hotel and Lodging Association
    • $13.00 an hour, average wage at placement before gratuities
    • 200 different jobs in a hotel, varying schedules
    • 10 Weeks, Classroom based, 330 hours
    • Hotel Advisory Council
credentialed programs cont
Credentialed Programs (cont)
  • E-Academy (web-based, 12-15 hours)
    • Massachusetts Council of Human Service Providers
    • Child Welfare
    • Working with people with DD
    • Substance Abuse and MH Counseling
    • Other areas
additional program components
Additional Program Components
  • Case Management assists individuals with addressing obstacles in their lives, making referrals for needed services (childcare, housing).
  • Job Readiness teaches important aspects of “work culture” and life management skills
  • Job Placement to ensure good match, hours work, travel considerations, tax credits
  • Follow up Services for a minimum of 12 months post-placementto ensure long term job retention and success. Seminars on balancing life issues and work.
maximizing resources
Maximizing Resources
  • Goal: Not to foster unnecessary reliance on public benefits and subsidies
  • Goal: Access best array of supports and maximize Income
  • Goal: Minimize fear about transitioning to work
  • Goal: Educate participants about their options and what happens to subsidies as they go to work
filling in the gaps
Filling in the Gaps
  • Case Management Activity - ENGAGE
      • Intake and Exploration of Background
      • Current, past living situation
      • Past, present and future employment and education
      • Finances, - Financial knowledge and ability to manage own budget, credit history (loan defaults)
      • Dependants/Relationships (Child Support)
      • Legal Issues – CORI, Outstanding Warrants
      • Need to know everything
explore options and eligibility
Explore Options and Eligibility
  • Cash assistance (SSI, SSDI, TANF, Child Support), Food Stamps
  • VR services (diagnosis)
  • Legal services
  • Free or reduced health care services (new mandatory health care in MA)
  • Subsidized housing (Section 8, Disability)
  • Other Services - Mental health, substance abuse, domestic violence, family therapy,
assistance and supports
Assistance and Supports
  • On-site Food Stamp Screenings
  • VR and TANF Dept. Benefits Specialists
    • Break it down into understandable language (lots of myths, reduce subsidies over time, ramp up other supports)
    • Report
  • CORI Experts (clear up things that may impede access to resources)
  • Private Foundation Support – Housing, other needs
  • Financial literacy – EITC
  • Employers – Tax Credits, Bonding Programs
  • Post Placement Plan – bonuses and incentives, education opportunities
more information
More Information
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