Overcoming Employment Barriers for Populations Experiencing Homelessness

Research consistently shows that people experiencing homelessness want to work. In fact, many are employed, but often precariously. The broader homeless population faces a variety of barriers to employment, including the experience of homelessness itself, plus other obstacles such as lack of experience, physical or mental health barriers, and challenges related to re-entry from incarceration or hospitalization. Fortunately, “there are consistent reports in the literature that homeless people rise above the barriers and find ways to earn income from employment.” Even chronically homeless populations and those facing multiple disabilities can succeed at work with “opportunity, training, and sustained support.” Researchers with the Department of Labor’s seven-year Job Training for the Homeless Demonstration Program “found that with the appropriate blend of assessment, case management, employment, training, housing and support services, a substantial proportion of homeless individuals can secure and retain jobs and that this contributes to housing stability.”

Publication Date: 
National Alliance to End Homelessness