Homeless charity Crisis estimated that a staggering 227,000 British households experienced the worst forms of homelessness by the end of 2021. With the number of Brits sleeping rough continuing to rise, the UK government has urged business leaders to give former homeless people more employment opportunities. In a bid to keep people off the streets and remove the stigma around homelessness, it has allocated £2 billion to end rough sleeping. This new drive to tackle the homeless issue in the UK prompted us to round up the top homeless employers in the UK.
Benefits Of Employing Homeless People
On top of social obligations, the benefits of employing homeless people are huge. From enhanced diversity to lower staff turnover, employers stand to gain a lot. What’s more, diverse teams have been proven to be more innovative, productive, and inclusive.
At the same time, people who have experienced homelessness have a chance to get back on their feet. By offering them fair employment, they have the opportunity to rebuild their lives and start again.
Additional reading ? 5 benefits of employing homeless people
The Top Homeless Employers In 2023
Experiencing housing issues is stressful and scary. In addition, to the worry of where to sleep, it can also create additional obstacles when it comes to finding work.
That’s why we have compiled a list of the best homeless employers in the UK, so you can get back on your feet and into employment as soon as you’re ready.
Here are 10 of the top places to find jobs for the homeless in the UK.
1. Refreshing a Career
One of the best ways to find work after experiencing homelessness is by signing up for job boards for homeless people. Specialist job boards for the homeless, such as Refreshing a Career, are the best place to find and advertise jobs for homeless people.
Refreshing a Career is one of the UK’s best homeless job sites. As well as a live job board packed with opportunities for people who have experienced housing issues, there is also a comprehensive resource hub for homeless job seekers.
You can find guides and actionable advice on everything from job application tips to education and training.
The weekly blog delivers industry insights and guidance for career changers, homeless job seekers, and employers.
Search for jobs for homeless people →
2. Aspiring to Include
Aspiring to Include is another top job board for finding employment as a homeless person. Its specialist inclusive job board contains a wealth of job roles for people who have experienced homelessness, underrepresented groups, and people living with disabilities. What’s more, it works with inclusive employers that are open to the possibility of hiring homeless people.
The website is a great resource for those looking for diverse and inclusive work opportunities in the UK.
Beam is a social enterprise and the first crowdfunding platform for homeless people. The UK organisation has pioneered the use of tech to tackle homelessness, partnering with top UK charities and tech companies.
Using a crowdsourcing model, Beam aims to help disadvantaged individuals, including homeless people, find stable work. 100% of donations go towards helping people get bacon on their feet.
Since its launch, it has been voted one of the top 100 most innovative organisations in Europe.
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4. Connection Crew
Connection Crew is an award-winning crewing company with a very clear mission. It aims to reduce and prevent homelessness in the UK by proactively providing training and employment.
The London-based social enterprise covers production in a range of sectors, including TV and film and events. Since its birth in 2005, it has employed more than 300 ex-homeless people. To be eligible for a job with Connection Crew, you must have successfully completed rehabilitation (if you have suffered from addiction).
Search for homeless jobs London →
5. Change Please
Supported by The Big Issue, Change Please has made a huge difference in the lives of many people experiencing housing issues in the UK. The social enterprise empowers homeless people with the training, resources, and speciality coffee beans to become professional baristas.
Change Please also roasts its own coffee beans, making it truly a life-changing cup of coffee. 100% of the profits go towards helping homeless people get a living wage, housing, training, and a future.
6. Social Bite
A Scottish couple were so inspired by Muhammad Yunus’ social business when they visited it in Bangladesh in 2011 that they decided to start their own. That’s how Social Bite was born.
Social Bite is a sandwich franchise with cafés in Scotland and England that hires staff who have spent time in prison, recently overcome drug addiction, or experienced homelessness. It all started when they offered a local homeless guy work in the kitchen. He made such an impact that they expanded their efforts and now insist that at least 25% of the team will have experienced accommodation problems.
Social Bites has made a bit of a splash, with Hollywood legend George Clooney paying it a visit.
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7. Radiant Cleaners
Radiant Cleaners is a social enterprise that employs people who face barriers to employment. This includes people who have experienced drug addiction, domestic abuse, prison, and homelessness.
It recently won the Education, Training and Jobs Social Enterprise award, receiving high praise for paying its staff full wages during the pandemic. It also supports employees by offering services such as language lessons and debt counselling.
Additional reading ? Can homeless workers end the UK’s skills shortage?
Back in 1989, Cambridge businessman Selwyn Image had a life-changing conversation with a homeless man. Selwyn was volunteering in a soup kitchen and asked a homeless man how he could best help the people in the shelter.
The man responded with a simple answer:
“I want somewhere where I can work, where I feel I belong, and where I can recover my self-respect.”
Two years later, the first Emmaus community opened in the UK. These communities each have a social enterprise, such as a shop, gardening project, or removal company which they use to provide jobs and homes for people who need them.
Unlike other homeless shelters that offer a bed for a night, people can stay in Emmaus communities as long as they need.
There are now 28 communities in the UK, helping people work their way out of the clutches of homelessness.
9. Standing Tall
Standing Tall hit the news recently after one man’s story of homelessness went viral. After splitting up with his partner, a local Birmingham man found himself sleeping rough. However, his luck changed when he met Christy Acton in a soup kitchen called Let’s feed Brum.
Christy Acton, founder and CEO of Standing Tall, asked the man if he was ready to find a job. When the man said yes, Standing Tall found him a host to stay with and work at M. Lambe Construction.
After three months working at Lambe’s, the man received an official contract and was already on his way to a promotion.
Standing Tall gives candidates the support to transform their lives in as little as six months, with 80% of candidates still thriving in the same job a year after starting. It works closely with top homeless employers, such as Lambe’s, to give people experiencing homelessness a fair chance.
Lambe Construction has committed to hiring 10% of its business with Standing Tall over the next five years. Here’s what its HR director had to say:
“People committed to changing their lives can excel when given a chance; with the right support, these candidates can be extremely loyal and worth their weight in gold.”
Search for homeless jobs near you →
Greggs has cemented itself as one of the top homeless employers in the UK. The British bakery chain holds a wide range of inclusive recruitment initiatives to help ex-offenders, ex-military, and people experiencing housing problems.
In October 2021, Greggs announced its partnership with Only A Pavement Away which aims to support people who are at risk of homelessness in finding secure employment.
Only A Pavement Away is a charity that works to help people facing homelessness in the hospitality industry find employment. Its goal is to create over 700 jobs for homeless people, ex-offenders, and veterans by 2024.
Key Takeaways: How To Become One Of The UK’s Top Homeless Employers
Are you an employer of homeless workers? Or maybe you’re a business leader looking to create job opportunities for people who have experienced homelessness.
Our experts at Refreshing a Career can help you attract homeless people to your organisation. Here are just some of the services we offer:
Call 03458724501 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about our bespoke packages.