No one deserves to be homeless. But the reality is that many homeless people need a job and can’t find employment because of their homeless status. This article will explore why more businesses should hire homeless people, and the benefits homeless employees can bring to the company.
In many cases, despite being qualified and ready to work, there are several barriers to employment for homeless people. Homeless individuals typically don’t have the money for transportation costs or other travel expenses that may be required when getting to and from an employer’s location of business. And without having any place to live, homeless people may not have access to the resources they need to shower or shave before meeting with employers for an interview. Stigma is also a significant contributor to homeless unemployment as many people are ignorant of the diverse array of factors contributing to homelessness in the UK. This needs to change.
Why hire homeless people?
First of all, homeless people are just people. Often, homeless people have work experience and a good level of education but can’t find a job because of their homeless status. They may be considered unemployable by employers due to having a poor record with previous jobs or not being able to provide references from past employees that the employer trusts. This doesn’t mean they’ll make bad employees.
Homeless people have unlimited potential and can thrive in the perfect job. Like any employee, hiring a homeless person could massively enrich your team. Homeless people may also offer a unique, new perspective to the work environment, which could be infinitely valuable.
Homeless employees are loyal and hard-working. Most homeless people are trying as hard as they can to change their current situation and find a job that allows them to earn money to leave homelessness behind. In addition, homeless people are often homeless due to a personal crisis. This isn’t their fault and does not represent their capacity to work.
Reducing Poverty in the Community
Hiring homeless people is one way that businesses can help reduce poverty and homelessness in the wider community. Poverty is cyclical, and homeless people can’t get out of poverty if they aren’t employed. By hiring homeless people locally, you may uplift an entire community as homeless people spend their money and buy goods from other local businesses in the community.
There are also incentives to employers for hiring homeless people, as you may be eligible to receive government subsidies if you hire homeless employees under specific programs.
The Hiring Process
Hiring homeless people can be a fairly straightforward process. Homeless individuals typically already have the required identification needed to work (driver’s license, passport, or national insurance). Homeless people also tend to be very open about their homeless status, so they may not mind disclosing this information if asked during an interview.
The best way for homeless people to get hired is for an employer to offer a temporary or permanent work contract that outlines how much the employee will be paid (cash, card transfer, or cheque), where they’ll work, when they’re allowed to take breaks, and when they can go home early. Homeless people must know their rights throughout their employment, especially if the business decides not to hire them after the temporary worker contract expires. This protects both the employee and the employer.
More businesses should hire homeless individuals because homeless people are just as capable of performing work tasks and jobs as anyone else. They can provide quality labour, perform well on the job, be great employees, and are often more motivated and loyal than non-homeless employees.
If you are a homeless jobseeker, take a look at our resource hub for advice. If you are an employer who would like more information on hiring homeless people, take a look at our advice for employers!