Homeless people need more than a nourishing meal and a safe place to spend the night.
More than ever, they need programs and services that will equip them to be successful in today’s job market. Valuable training for employment that affords advancement and builds work skills and behaviors helps break the cycle of hunger for men and women’s lives today, and more importantly, for children’s lives tomorrow.
The link between unemployment and homelessness cannot be overlooked. Dr. Roger Nooe, professor emeritus at the University of Tennessee’s College of Social Work, has conducted biannual studies of homelessness in the Knoxville area for nearly two decades. In his 2008 study, Dr. Nooe stated, “The Ten Year Plan to End Chronic Homelessness calls for increased economic opportunities for homeless persons. Achieving maximum economic self sufficiency will involve developing appropriate training programs, supportive employment, and establishing income management and financial guardianship programs where applicable. Lack of employment is often identified as a major cause of homelessness.” (Homelessness in Knoxville/Knox County, October 2002.)
In addition, 42% of the people surveyed by Dr. Nooe and his team identified a need for job training as crucial to helping them get a job. More than a third of those surveyed identified having a job as the resource they needed most to escape homelessness.