Workforce Development

Everyone’s path to employment is unique. So are our employment services.

Often, homelessness is directly attributed to unemployment and insufficient income. Pathways to employment and economic opportunity is critical for people experiencing homelessness who need—and want—to end their homelessness. In a supportive, healing, and growth-oriented setting, we offer tailored income growth planning by exploring career pathways, setting up reasonable, achievable and individualized goals, providing guidance and case management support. Our workforce development programs integrate with our housing and behavioral health programming in order to address the comprehensive needs of our guests, all under one roof.

Instructional Services

The Sullivan Family Moving Ahead Program (MAP)

The Sullivan Family Moving Ahead Program (MAP) is a 14-week job and life-skills training program for individuals who have experienced homelessness. MAP helps students learn to identify, pursue, and succeed in careers that match their abilities, skills, and work values. The program emphasizes the importance of job readiness and satisfaction, which can increase students’ ability to secure and maintain employment and housing, thus improving their lives and the community-at-large.

In addition to accessing all of what St. Francis House has to offer, MAP students receive the following supportive services:

  • Weekly stipends for participation in classroom based instruction or completion of 20 hours of structured job search/skills development activities/workshops
  • Placement in transitional/sober housing paid for by St. Francis House
  • Weekly transportation assistance
  • Financial assistance to pay for ID’s, licensing or application fees, union dues, etc.
  • Integrated service planning with onsite housing and behavioral health departments
  • Personalized introductions to our Recovery Support Center and Alumni of the MAP program

Workforce Development

Individualized Employment Coaching and Asset Development

Our comprehensive employment services help guests identify career pathways goals and assist them with job placement for as long as needed. Our customized offerings include assistance with the essential aspects of the job search, interview preparation, resume development, onboarding assistance, referrals to industry training certification programs, job fairs, assistance with CORI record reviews and job retention support.

We also offer assistance with applications for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)/ Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA) cash benefits, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits and unemployment benefits.

Our Wellness and Life Skills Coach teaches, exposes and helps participants practice wellness techniques and activities such as mindfulness, exercise, nutrition, meditation, breathing exercises, sleep hygiene and more. Personalized wellness plans help navigate points of stress in transition, including for those experienced in the job search and placement process. Wellness is a life skill that, with practice, helps participants learn work/life balance, and presenting themselves professionally.

Studio Shine

Studio Shine is an on-site boutique providing guests with professional business attire. The Studio was founded by a MAP graduate who understood the need for high-quality, fashion-forward professional attire that completes a student’s “look” and mirrors the internal transformation that happens during the 14-week program.

Our Wellness Coach and staff provide participants and guests with a private consultation in which they learn how to present themselves in a professional setting and how to dress for work. Studio Shine supplies each person with all of the wardrobe pieces necessary for job attainment and success.

MassHire Access Point

We are a physical center and resource for unhoused job seekers. We work to overcome severe barriers to employment by providing specialized support, information on job openings, and job search assistance for those experiencing homelessness.

Selected as a one-stop access point by the Boston Private Industry Council (PIC) and the Mayor’s Office of Workforce Development (OWD), St. Francis House has been a designated MassHire access point since 2017.

Working collaboratively in partnership with other homeless workforce providers, we provide job coaching and connect job seekers to the Mass Hire Access Point network and program resources.

How does an access point help?

• Individualized career center profile set up
• Employment counseling services customized to individual needs
• Information and referrals to other community resources that can help remove barriers to employment
• Referrals to industry training and certification programs

Resource Center

We are a physical center and resource for unhoused job seekers. We work to overcome severe barriers to employment by providing specialized support, information on job openings, and job search assistance for those experiencing homelessness. In addition to independent work, participants can attend workshops on a variety of employment-related topics, learn more about program offerings at our weekly information sessions, review job postings sourced by our employment services team, and more.

Pathways to Housing

Boston Continuum of Care Coordinated Entry Hub

Our Workforce Development Program is an essential part of the overall system designed to assess and assist individuals experiencing homelessness in Boston with connecting to affordable housing opportunities. Our Employment Coaches complete COC assessments with individuals that are homeless in Boston that match up with housing opportunities.

We recognize that while affordable housing resources are limited; increasing an individual’s income is in itself a pathway out of homelessness. While conducting these assessments, we invite guests into employment services and help with identifying career pathways goals, assistance with job placement or access to eligible financial benefits. This is an important part of any housing stabilization plan.


Call: (617)-654-1257 Email: wfdinfo@stfrancishouse.org

We are a ‘barrier free’ program. Referrals are not needed. We are open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday from 8am – 3pm, and Wednesday from 8am – 2pm. (Please note, we are closed for lunch from 11:00am – 11:50am).