Many homeless individuals and low income families desire work but have multiple barriers to overcome before they are able to gain – let alone sustain – employment.
Due to personal and systemic factors, many of them are isolated from our fast-paced and competitive job market due to gaps in their skillsets or lack of relevant work experience.
In families with only one breadwinner, the lack of long-term employment with sustainable wages causes the welfare of their family members and children to be affected detrimentally. Oftentimes, social mobility does not improve across generations and many find it a huge challenge to break out of the vicious cycle of poverty.
Although the government has emphasised the importance of skills upgrading by promoting various training programmes to Singaporeans, many of our clients are still unable to access the right type, length, or intensity of support.
Over the last 17 years of working with the homeless and lower income population in Singapore, we have developed an in-depth understanding of the challenges faced by these marginalised beneficiaries.
In order to address the barriers preventing them from attaining long-term employment, we have developed the Job Support & Retention Programme in partnership with SBF Foundation. This is targeted at more than 700 families and 300 individuals under the HOPE Scheme alongside our shelter residents.
This programme not only allows them to contribute to society but also provides employers who are urgently seeking workers with a ready pool of employees. As such, our beneficiaries are helping to close the gap in manpower shortage resulting from the recent government measures restricting the amount of foreign labour in Singapore.
In addition, we hosted the very first Empower Circles session on 29 July 2020. Aimed at connecting hiring organisations and businesses with social service agencies, these sessions involve sharing resources and knowledge on the best practices for employers in engaging beneficiaries.
Through these efforts, we hope to empower displaced individuals and lower income families to achieve self-reliance, live independently and ultimately build new hope with their families.