MassHire is a statewide agency connecting jobseekers across the Commonwealth to quality education, skills training and employment opportunities. Here at St. Francis House, our workforce development department is a MassHire access point. Through this partnership we ensure people experiencing homelessness can benefit from MassHire resources with increased accessibility and the support of our staff.
In prior years, MassHire operated as a one-stop career center. Their team came to realize that this structure was less effective in reaching the population of people experiencing homelessness and poverty throughout Massachusetts. They created ‘access points’ where well-trained staff of partnering agencies and nonprofits could meet clients where they were in order to make accessing the MassHire resources easier.
The added resources of MassHire coupled with our existing workforce development programming has successfully been designed to encourage our guests to identify their career goals and offer opportunities for income expansion. Richard Freemen, a guest who has utilized the MassHire resources states, “St. Francis House has helped me in many ways. I have received much needed assistance with housing, clothing and meals. Additionally, I am learning how to do an effective job search, write a resume and interview. It has made such a difference in my life.”
There are still a number of barriers and challenges that exist for people in their journey to finding work and having meaningful long-term careers. Computer literacy and the time needed to navigate through complex systems often holds people back from achieving their goals. Our staff members are there to provide support to people across the state looking to identify career paths based on skills, values and interests in order to have a better chance of lasting success. We are there every step of the way whether it be applying for jobs, identifying training programs, interview preparation and more.
Our Associate Director of Workforce Development, Beth Grand, states, “What’s really exciting to me about this program and the partnership with MassHire is the satisfaction that comes with helping people believe in themselves to the point where they are able to become self-sufficient. Seeing people develop their skills and achieve something independently is an inspiring thing to witness.”
We look forward to continuing to provide specialized support, information on job openings, and job search assistance for those currently experiencing homelessness in order to better overcome the severe barriers to employment.