People experiencing homelessness face many obstacles in attempting to locate employment, and few services exist to help them overcome these barriers.
- no or limited access to a phone and no permanent address to give to potential employers,
- not having work-appropriate (or interview-appropriate) attire,
- problems with resume creation and distribution (including printing and mailing costs and computer access for online applications),
- gaps in and/or inadequate employment history to include on an application,
- transportation issues (inability to afford a vehicle or public transit fares) to get to interviews and/or employment,
- difficulties with obtaining identification and access to financial institutions,
- conflict between hours of work and hours of operation of homeless services including shelter access and meal programs.
Homeless people also struggle to meet their basic needs, which is crucial for obtaining and maintaining employment. Health issues can interfere with work, and lack of food, sleep and rest can make maintaining employment difficult, if not impossible. Social support is also an important component of navigating the workplace and at times, for providing the connections needed to secure employment. Many homeless persons lack these social ties.