1.13 Employment Strategies for Low Income Individuals and Families (Fischberg)


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Increasing income through employment is a key component in ending homelessness. This workshop will focus on new initiatives to expand employment opportunities for low income individuals and families, including models such as subsidized and transitional jobs. TANF Emergency Contingency Fund and other funding strategies to support these initiatives will be discussed.

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1.13 Employment Strategies for Low Income Individuals and Families (Fischberg)

  1. 1. Employment Strategies for Persons who are Homeless Jane Fischberg, President Rubicon Programs Inc. [email_address] Begin the Journey to Change.   www.rubiconprograms.org
  2. 2. Rapid Employment… 6 <ul><li>Unfortunately, in this economy, there is very little rapid employment </li></ul><ul><li>Especially for persons who are homeless </li></ul><ul><li>Often last hired, first laid off </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>On a systems level -- how can </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>we create greater opportunities </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>for persons who are homeless, </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>to help them overcome the </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>barriers to employment that </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>many of them experience </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>2 </li></ul>
  4. 4. Rubicon Programs Inc. 6 <ul><li>Mission is to prepare very low-income people to overcome barriers to financial independence, and to partner with people with mental illness on their journey of recovery </li></ul><ul><li>We do this through employment, housing, mental health, and legal services </li></ul><ul><li>Based in Richmond, CA </li></ul><ul><li>Serve 4,000 people each year throughout San Francisco East Bay </li></ul><ul><li>37 year track record serving people with barriers (including mental illness, homelessness, limited basic skills, multigenerational limited literacy) to employment </li></ul>
  5. 5. Rubicon Programs Inc. (cont’d) <ul><li>West Contra Costa County lead for rapid rehousing in Contra Costa County’s HPRP initiative </li></ul><ul><li>Target populations who participate in our employment services </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Persons who are homeless and seeking work </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Persons re-entering community from incarceration </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Low-income noncustodial parents </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>One of the features of our employment services is transitional employment, especially linked to our commercial landscape business, Rubicon Landscape </li></ul><ul><li>Operate One Stops in Alameda County and a non-WIA funded Career Center in Richmond (Contra Costa County) </li></ul>
  6. 6. Two Worlds Colliding (or not) <ul><li>Generally, the two worlds operate in parallel, without overlap </li></ul><ul><li>Rubicon began running One Stops because </li></ul><ul><li>We saw that the mainstream workforce investment boards had access to resources that could benefit the people we serve </li></ul><ul><li>By operating One Stops, we had greater opportunity to leverage these resources for the benefit of people who have barriers to employment </li></ul>Homeless Services Workforce Services
  7. 7. How to bring the worlds together Workforce Services Homeless Services <ul><li>Meet with the executive director of your Local Workforce Investment Board(s) (LWIBs) and let them know: </li></ul><ul><li>Who you are </li></ul><ul><li>What you do and why </li></ul><ul><li>Information about the people you serve </li></ul><ul><li>Information about how your programs are funded </li></ul><ul><ul><li>what kind </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>for which populations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>restrictions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>flexibility </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>term </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. How to bring the worlds together (cont’d) <ul><li>Ask them </li></ul><ul><li>to share their local plan, and whether there is specific mention of how homeless persons will be served </li></ul><ul><li>are they gathering data as to number of homeless persons being served </li></ul><ul><li>What funding is presently administered by the LWIB, including discretionary grants </li></ul><ul><li>What is in the pipeline </li></ul><ul><li>What considerations have been given to providing accommodations or set asides for persons with barriers to employment </li></ul><ul><li>How could they leverage the funds that you manage in order to better serve homeless persons </li></ul>
  9. 9. Speak Language that Workforce Investment Boards Understand <ul><li>As homeless service providers, we are one of many constituencies asking WIBs to give special consideration </li></ul><ul><li>We are asking that special consideration/accommodations/set asides be provided for populations with barriers to employment, including homelessness </li></ul><ul><li>Help Workforce Investment Boards Understand what we as homeless service providers bring to the table </li></ul><ul><li>Expertise </li></ul><ul><li>Funding (which they can leverage) </li></ul>
  10. 10. Help the workforce field understand how it can benefit by working with the homeless services field <ul><li>Greater resources </li></ul><ul><li>Diversified expertise </li></ul><ul><li>Synergies create greater potential for success </li></ul>
  11. 11. Fathers at Work Initiative (FWI) <ul><li>Sponsored by the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, national initiative that ran from 2001-2005 </li></ul><ul><li>Help young, noncustodial fathers achieve increased employment and earnings, greater involvement in their children's lives, and more consistent financial support of their children. </li></ul><ul><li>Six nonprofit workforce development organizations participated (two in NY, one in Philadelphia, one in Virginia, one in Chicago, and Rubicon) </li></ul>
  12. 12. Fathers at Work Initiative (FWI) (cont’d) <ul><li>Each organization developed a formal partnership with its respective local child support enforcement agency. </li></ul><ul><li>Each organization committed to serve at least 100 men—placing at least 75 of them into jobs—each year for three years and to provide a minimum of 12 months of retention services. </li></ul><ul><li>Also committed to increasing parental engagement and child support compliance. </li></ul><ul><li>Eligible participants were noncustodial fathers 30 years old or younger earning less than 200 percent of the federal poverty level. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Fathers at Work Initiative (FWI) (cont’d) <ul><li>Two of the six selected organizations exclusively served noncustodial fathers who were formerly incarcerated. </li></ul><ul><li>All six organizations offered the package of services that characterized the FWI model: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>employment, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>child support, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>fatherhood services. </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Fathers at Work Initiative (FWI) (cont’d) <ul><li>Most of the men Rubicon served in FWI were homeless </li></ul><ul><li>We enrolled many of them in transitional employment, both in our own internal programs connected with commercial property maintenance, Rubicon Landscape, and our former Bakery; and also with local employers </li></ul><ul><li>While FWI is completed, we continue to strive to maintain some of the practices we developed during that initiative. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Partnership with department of child support services </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Be a safe place for young men trying to stay on the right side of the law, to get support entering the workforce </li></ul></ul>                                                  
  15. 15. <ul><li>The dual motivation of increased earnings and being a better father is a compelling one for many of the homeless men we serve. </li></ul><ul><li>We are strong believers in the value of transitional employment for populations with barriers to employment </li></ul><ul><li>We believe that we can be even more effective in supporting these young men by </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Increasing parenting support services </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Providing complementary parenting services to moms and custodians of the children (whether through a partnership or on our own) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>We hope to enhance the capacities we developed during FWI to have an even greater impact on the lives of these young men who are homeless, as well as their children and the guardians of their children </li></ul></ul>Fathers at Work Initiative (FWI) (cont’d)
  16. 16. Resources: National Transitional Jobs Network http://www.heartlandalliance.org/ntjn/ HIRE Network (re-entry population http://www.hirenetwork.org/ Public Private Ventures http://www.ppv.org/ppv/index.asp Working Dads: Final Report on the Fathers at Work Initiative http://www.ppv.org/ppv/publications/assets/310_publication.pdf