Vocationalizing Homeless Services - Sonoma

Vocationalizing Homeless
Goal of Initiative
 Define a living wage for exit to Permanent
 Increase employment of homeless individuals and
families at exit
 Ensure that people experiencing homelessness
have the opportunity and support to re-enter the
job market
Desired Outcome of Initiative
 HEARTH Act – requires system-wide reporting on 7
performance measures, including homeless persons’
growth of income and employment
 When we began the project 18.7% of people exiting
homeless services programs have employment income
 Our goal is to raise the percentage exiting programs with
employment income to 21% system-wide
Research: Best Practice Strategies
 Silos-to-Systems: Connecting Vulnerable Families to Work
and Incomes to Prevent and End Homelessness (Paper
developed by Building Changes, Seattle, WA)
 Workforce Development Council of Seattle – King County
 Goal: Align housing and workforce interventions and
coordinate with ongoing supports to facilitate access and
success for those who experience or are most at risk of
Research: Best Practice Strategies
 “Vocationalizing Homeless Services” will:
 Redefine
the homeless provider role to support
participation in the workforce system
 Embed
the expectations, practice and service delivery
of employment in all facets of program operations
 Establish
a culture of ability and high expectations
Research: Staffing Agency Surveys
 What type of work do you hire for?
 What kind of person are you looking for? What qualifications do you need?
 What would disqualify someone form employment with your company?
 How can we work with you better?
 Is there any way we can offer an incentive to you hiring people long-term?
 What is the application process?
 What can we do to prepare our clients for work with you?
 Are you aware of the bonding opportunities and tax incentives that are available when you hire
from our agencies?
 What is your policy regarding hiring ex-offenders? Ex-felons?
 How do you prefer people contact you?
Research: Staffing Agency Findings
 Recent & Relevant Experience is Key
 It is an Employer’s Market – they can be picky with hires
 Importance of Preparation(Resumes, Cover Letters, etc.)
 Gaps in Employment are very hard to look past
Research: Staffing Agency Findings
What did this mean for our group?
 How
do we incorporate the employment training
resources we have(Coach 2 Career, Joblink, etc.)
throughout the entire Continuum to ensure that clients
are properly prepared to compete into today’s job
 How
do we build upon current vocational training
programs (Catholic Charities’ Workbuild Program,
COTS’ Intern Program, etc.) to give clients recent
experience and training for living wage work?
Standardizing Employment Preparation
 Reviewed Resources to avoid duplication of efforts
(VOS, Coach 2 Career, etc.)
 Standardized online tool that would provide job
search resources for all agencies in our Continuum
 Assessment to gauge which tools the clients should
Where are we now?
 Created the Assessment
 Collected the Resources
 Working on creating a Wiki so that all agencies
would have access to these resources
 Need more partners to help design this
implementation of the Wiki to ensure it works across
the different agencies
Meetings are the 2nd Tuesday of every month from
12:00pm-1:30pm at Family Support Center (465 A.
Street, Santa Rosa, CA).