Moving from unstable housing or even rough sleeping towards stable employment is a large step, but one that could turn your life around for good. We have compiled a range of tips towards getting you on the right path to success.

There are a range of barriers to employment for homeless people. When applying for jobs, you will want to follow the advice we have outlined below:

Basic Skills

Today, there are several ways of accessing free and high-quality education or training so that you can get the basic skills required to access employment. In most circumstances, the government will fund you to get your Level 1 and 2 English and maths qualifications regardless of where you are in the UK.

For more information on what, where and how to access free training, go to our dedicated page on finding training as a homeless person.

Address

Many job applications require you to provide a forwarding address, which can make many homeless people assume they can’t apply for a job. However, there are several ways to navigate this particular issue.

First, you can just be open about the fact you have no fixed address, something a handful of employers will overlook. The most common way is to elect an address where you will receive your post.

Usually, you will assign this to your local Jobcentre Plus, as long as you have got their permission. Furthermore, you could ask a family member or friend with a permanent address to hold any mail for you.

Practical help

Another barrier to homeless people getting employment is by not looking presentable for work or an interview. This includes being able to eat, shower, do your laundry and charge your phone.

We advise you find and approach your local homeless day centre for all of this practical help. If you don’t know where your closest homeless day centre is, you should go to the Homeless Link website.

Work with the Jobcentre

Your number one priority should be to collaborate with your local Jobcentre. They will have an in-depth understanding and connections with all local business, training providers and organisations who help you get into appropriate employment.

Furthermore, they may even know about positions that are currently available and that are listed by inclusive employers who will not discriminate against you for having unfixed housing.

Volunteering

The best way for you to get a job is to demonstrate you have recent employment experience. One stigmatisation about homeless workers is unreliability and underperformance.

By entering a volunteer situation, you not only demonstrate that you are proactive and dedicated to your job, but also that you will regularly show up on time, perform well and attain valuable skills like using a register. As such, you should see volunteering as an opportunity to access a reference from the manager at the organisations.

If you only use the volunteering as an opportunity to fill out your CV, the employer may call up the organisation and undermine your application. Imagine that the volunteer work is like a real job and they could dramatically propel you into stable employment.