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Integrating Rapid Re-Housing Programs and Policy With Employment Is Essential to Ending Family Homelessness

By Caitlin C. Schnur, Policy Associate, Heartland Alliance’s National Initiatives on Poverty & Economic Opportunity

2015-07-28 - HA National Initiatives Blog for NAEH_PHOTO

As our new paper about integrating rapid re-housing and employment makes clear, far too many families in the United States are experiencing or at risk of homelessness for economic reasons. On a single night in January 2016, about 194,716 people in families with children were homeless. Over 1.2 million students nationwide were identified as experiencing homelessness at some point during the 2014-2015 school year, a figure that includes students who were living doubled up, in a motel, or in temporary housing for reasons including their family’s economic hardship.

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Workforce Development Programs Are Key for Those Struggling to Pay Rent

By Hilary Gawrilow, Federal Policy Director, Corporation for Supportive Housing and Caitlin C. Schnur, Coordinator, National Initiatives on Poverty & Economic Opportunity 

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Affordable rental housing is in short supply and the availability of subsidies to assist extremely low-income renters has not changed in over a decade. Only one out of four eligible households actually receives federal rental assistance. Various policy proposals have been put forth to increase the turnover in the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)’s assisted housing stock, including imposing work requirements and time limits.

Time limits and work requirements for families receiving housing assistance through HUD will undo years of progress and push people back into poverty. Rather than cutting off assistance, efforts would be better spent ensuring that those struggling to find a job and pay rent have access to robust workforce development services through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) that meet their employment needs and interests.

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How WIOA & HUD Combined State Planning Can Benefit Homeless Jobseekers

By Caitlin C. Schnur, Coordinator, National Initiatives on Poverty & Economic Opportunity

2015-11-04 - Combined State Planning

Employment in quality jobs is key to preventing and ending homelessness—yet millions of homeless jobseekers face significant barriers to employment success. Fortunately, there’s growing awareness and accountability in the homeless services system around increasing employment and economic opportunity for people experiencing homelessness. At the same time, under the recently passed Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), the public workforce system aims to increase employment opportunities for jobseekers facing barriers, including homeless jobseekers. There’s clearly a shared goal here—and WIOA implementation offers a unique opportunity for these systems to work together: WIOA and HUD combined state planning.

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The Opening Doors Collaborative Aims to Increase Employment & Economic Opportunity Among Homeless Youth

By Caitlin C. Schnur, Coordinator, National Initiatives on Poverty & Economic Opportunity with Leiha Edmonds, Research and Policy Assistant, National Initiatives

2015-09-21 - Heading Home Hennepin_Via Heidi Boyd
Earlier this year, under our new National Center on Employment and Homelessness (NCEH) and with the generous support of the Oak Foundation and the Melville Charitable Trust, we selected five communities from across the country to be a part of the Connections Project. The Connections Project is a three-year, systems-level collaboration and capacity building project that aims to increase employment and economic opportunity for homeless job seekers. This fall, our five Connections Project Sites are launching their innovative systems collaboration ideas—and over the next few weeks, we’ll be highlighting their exciting work. First up is Minneapolis/Hennepin County’s Opening Doors Collaborative (ODC), our Connections Project Site that’s focused on improving employment access, outcomes, and program options for youth experiencing homelessness.

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“I Believed in My Vision:” TransTech Empowers, Educates, & Employs the Trans Community

By Caitlin C. Schnur, Coordinator, National Initiatives on Poverty & Economic Opportunity

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Angelica Ross, the founder of TransTech in Chicago, calls herself an accidental advocate. “I got into this work as an advocate for myself,” explains Miss Ross, a transwoman of color whose year-old social enterprise prepares trans people for careers in creative design and technology. “When I was younger, I was really just trying to get by and work a job. None of the LGBTQ organizations that were focused on marriage were advocating for what I needed—safe and stable employment opportunities.”

While the transgender movement may have reached a tipping point, there’s still a lot of work to be done around advancing employment and economic opportunity for the trans community. According to the National Transgender Discrimination Survey, trans people experience twice the rate of unemployment and are nearly four times more likely to live in extreme poverty than the general population. By empowering, educating, and employing trans people—and especially trans youth—TransTech addresses these issues head on. For LGBT Pride Month, National Initiatives chatted with Miss Ross about her vision for TransTech, why social capital is key to economic empowerment, and employment as restorative justice.

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