Leading homelessness charity St Mungo’s has welcomed calls by the Government for businesses and charity leaders to offer more employment opportunities for people who are recovering from homelessness.
At a virtual roundtable this week, Minister for Rough Sleeping and Housing Eddie Hughes and Minister for Welfare Delivery David Rutley stressed that securing employment was integral to helping people move away from the streets for good, calling on businesses across the country to “step up” and challenge the stigma around integrating people who are experiencing homelessness into the workplace.
Adam Rees, Director of Employment, Training and Learning Services at St Mungo’s and Amy Kimbangi, Senior Service Manager (Employment Services), attended the roundtable to support the initiative and share learnings from St Mungo’s work supporting people experiencing homelessness into employment.
St Mungo’s delivers specialist employment support within homelessness services across London, Brighton, Bristol, Oxford, Reading and Leicester, and has supported over 120 people into employment in the past year. Alongside this, St Mungo’s award-winning Digital Recovery College provides an inclusive learning, training and employment service, enabling clients to improve their employability through education, vocational training and one-to-one support.
Reflecting on the meeting, Mr Rees said: “We are pleased that the Government recognises that helping people who have experienced homelessness to gain skills and employment is a fundamental part of helping them to rebuild their lives.
“We know from our experience that meaningful employment can play a crucial role in a person’s recovery from homelessness and the majority of our clients want to work either now, or in the future.
“St Mungo’s offers integrated, specialist employment support within a number of our accommodation and support services. As part of our recommendations from the Kerslake Commission on Homelessness and Rough Sleeping, we believe this kind of support is essential within all homelessness and housing services to challenge perceptions and raise ambitions around employment.
“However, this approach will only prove successful if people can access suitable and sustainable accommodation to support their continued employment, without putting their welfare benefits at risk. One of our key recommendations is for the Department of Work and Pensions can to allow people to experience the positive effects of work by re-introducing a Work Allowance for those in supported accommodation.
“Our research also shows a concerning link between insecure or transient work and homelessness, so we need to ensure that fair and decent conditions are in place to support people who are in low paid, temporary or agency work.
“We look forward to working with the Government and employers across the country to support more people recovering from homelessness to find sustainable, meaningful work and to prevent them returning to the streets.”
For further information about St Mungo’s Employment Services contact firstname.lastname@example.org.