Return to work
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Having a job has many benefits for people who face challenges such as homelessness, physical or mental health. Working can help people get well and stay well, connect with their communities, and earn an income. This contributes greatly to overall wellbeing.
Having a job has many benefits for people who face challenges such as homelessness, physical or mental health. Working can help people get well and stay well, connect with their communities, and earn an income. This contributes greatly to overall wellbeing. That’s why The People’s Project and Workwise embarked on a formal collaboration in 2021, following several years of trial, to support formerly homeless people find work.
Workwise employment consultants are integrated with The People’s Project teams in both Hamilton and Tauranga to support people into jobs through the IPS employment support approach. An additional employment consultant will be joining the Hamilton team in October.
The collaboration is successful. The journey from street to home, and back to work is an empowering one. It satisfies the ultimate goal of Housing First of supporting people to reintegrate back into communities. The critical success factor in this combined approach is support; support to access and sustain permanent housing, support to improve the person’s wellbeing, and support to access and sustain employment.
“We assist people into homes and then provide wraparound services to support them to sustain their tenancies and to set and achieve their goals. Once someone is in a safe, clean and dry home, it’s easier for them to deal with any challenges, such as physical or mental health and substance use,” says The People’s Project General Manager Kerry Hawkes.
“We can support clients to access health care, therapy, counselling, budgeting advice and more. So being able to connect people to Workwise to get them on the path to work is a fantastic, and we think obvious, next step in helping our clients to improve their wellbeing,” she adds.
Both organisations believe it’s crucial to offer employment support as an integral part of other health and social supports.
“People shouldn’t have to put their employment dreams on hold because of homelessness. Having a paid job can help with preventing homelessness, increasing self-sufficiency and community integration,” says Tyron Pini, General Manager at Workwise.
“That’s why we are excited to continue expanding our work and creating influence across Housing First providers,” adds Tyron.
The People’s Project and Workwise are pleased to share our employment support results from the past year. Highlights include:
Joe (not his real name) arrived at The People’s Project (Tauranga) in March 2023. He was thirty years old and had a diagnosis of ADHD. He had his belongings in a shopping trolley, was getting agitated and needed a home. The People’s Project staff supported him into emergency housing to start with, while helping to find permanent accommodation. Meanwhile, the Workwise employment consultant started to get to know him and work with him on employment.
Finding a job, getting his CV prepared and going through the interview process was seen as a success not only for Joe but for everyone involved. Joe is getting back into the habit of working and has started to see what a good life can look like. Read Joe’s full story here.
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