We know many people experiencing homelessness want to work. Having a stable job can help someone leave homelessness behind for good and it’s an opportunity to live a more independent life. 

But for someone who is homeless, there are significant structural barriers that get in the way of landing a job.

  • Need ID – You can’t get a job in the UK without identification to prove your right to work here. But if you’re homeless and forced to move around a lot, you may have easily lost your documents. Replacing them can be very difficult and bureaucratic.

  • Interviews can be costly – The current cost of living crisis makes it difficult to afford the essentials, let alone a new suit and the tube fare for an interview. This puts people at an instant disadvantage when looking for a job.

  • Need the tech - Most jobs are advertised and need to be applied for online. And interviews and working from home are now commonplace. All of this creates a big barrier if you don’t have access to IT or aren’t confident with using all the different online platforms.

  • Dealing with stigma - Research by Business in The Community found that 40% of employers were unaware that it is legal to hire someone experiencing homelessness and admit they would likely terminate an employee’s contract if they became homeless.

  • Lacking job-readiness – If you’ve been unemployed for a long time, you might lack the professional skills needed to find work, such as CV writing and interview practice as well as personal skills like confidence and work readiness. You could ace the job but getting over this initial hurdle is tough.

  • Employment gaps and lack of references – Trying to explain gaps in your CV and why you don’t have references from previous employers creates yet another hurdle. It can mean that a candidate feels they must explain why they’ve been homeless when the focus should be on their ability to do the job.

We run an in-house employability programme to help our clients overcome these barriers and gain the specific skills and confidence they need to land them that next job. We also work closely with employers across all sectors to increase understanding of homelessness and break down the stigma that so often holds them back.  

For our clients, a new job is more than a source of income. It’s the chance for a new life and you won’t find a more motivated group.  

Find out more about our Achieving Potential service