Linking Transitional Housing and Employment Preparation for Persons with Disabilities

Partners

Federal:
Public Health Agency of Canada
Community:
Saskatchewan Abilities Council and the Saskatoon Housing Authority
Provincial:
CanSask (Canada-Saskatchewan Employment and Career Services) – Ministry of Advanced Education, Employment and Immigration

Location

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Duration

2008/06/02 – 2009/06/30

Focus Areas

Persons with Disabilities and Labour Market Integration

Objective

The project tested whether adding supportive housing to an employment development program for persons with disabilities improved participants’ outcomes, thereby preventing and reducing the incidence of homelessness.

Project Summary

The project assisted a total of 12 participants (11 women and 1 man) in securing housing, while they received employability skills training in order to increase their opportunities for employment. A majority of participants were homeless and unemployed, and 8 had dependent children and required access to childcare for the duration of the project. Some of the participants were temporarily housed at the YWCA while waiting for affordable housing. Funding from the province’s Ministry of Advanced Education, Employment and Immigration went toward costs associated with participant assessment and participant wages.

Project Results

Participants found value in the support received from the project coordinator and the support system they had developed among themselves. They indicated that being in training with people who had similar challenges was helpful in understanding their own challenges. By the end of the project 8 participants had secured housing and 10 participants received employability training. Of these, 7 obtained employment and 2 received placements.

Participants and staff both expressed the need to have participants transition into employment and have support once they secure employment. All of the participants indicated that housing was the main reason why they became involved in the project, and that employment and training were a bonus. Participants felt that they could secure employment, but finding affordable housing was a challenge. Furthermore, once participants received housing various challenges emerged, such as: obtaining renting references; need for furniture; and dealing with the responsibility of living in a home.

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