Housing Support to Aboriginal Persons to Bolster Outcomes of Employment Programs
- Aboriginal Human Resource Development Strategy (AHRDS), HRSDC
- Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC), Futureworks and Aboriginal Community Careers Services Society (ACCESS)
- Industry Training Authority of British Columbia (ITA)
- RONA and Vancouver Regional Construction Association (VRCA)
Vancouver, British Columbia
2008/05/26 – 2009/03/31
Aboriginal; Labour Market Integration
This project tested whether providing housing supports to individuals at risk of homelessness improved their ability to successfully complete an apprenticeship program and achieve greater self-sufficiency.
As part of the 30-week Apprenticeship Carpentry Program, participants received classroom instruction, as well as hands-on skill development and training at the RONA Fabrication Centre in central Vancouver. Trainees engaged in fabricating various items for the 2010 Olympic venues. The housing supports funded by HPS included access to a housing coordinator, assistance in finding and securing suitable accommodation, essential furniture, payment of essential services (hydro) and provision of household goods. The project participants were 16 urban Aboriginals, aged 17 to 55, facing multiple personal and financial challenges. ITA funds were provided to VANOC to help cover the cost of wage top-ups for students enrolled in the Apprenticeship Carpentry Program.
The housing supports provided during the program alleviated the financial burden and worry faced by most of the trainees: 4 of the participants were assisted in bringing utility bills up to date; rental subsidies/security deposits were provided to 6 participants; and 3 participants were assisted to upgrade or relocate to better housing situations. All participants passed the practical portion of their training with marks ranging from 76% to over 90%, with 70% being a pass; this was a higher than usual pass rate. The program maintained a higher retention rate than other similar programs. Thirteen trainees completed the program and 3 left in the early stages – one as a result of mental health problems, one for reasons related to poor attendance and the third was asked to leave as a result of recurring drug problems. Of the participants that completed the program, 5 were hired full time by RONA to continue producing various items for the 2010 Olympic venues and sites.
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