Types of Homeless Jobs and Homelessness Support?

Some social care roles working with the homeless are based in a permanent setting, regularly providing help to people who attend. Others are outreach and involve working in the community. Some roles move around, for example, hosting a personal care clinic at different venues and on scheduled dates.

The types of jobs you might consider:

  • Housing support – helping homeless people access safe housing.
  • Night support – providing care at overnight hostels or care facilities.
  • Project management – working to coordinate homeless support services in your local area.
  • Outreach work – engaging with local homeless people, assessing their needs and working to develop a plan or making referrals.
  • Substance abuse prevention – this can include working in a shelter, providing a health clinic or working in a permanent residence to treat and support patients in recovery.

Who Could I Work For in a Homeless Job?

Every area is different, and usually, multiple organisations work together to provide help and practical assistance for homeless people.

Employers could include:

  • Local councils and housing associations
  • Public health services
  • Charities and non-profit organisations

Working in the homelessness sector can be very varied, and you will find multiple different types of social care jobs in different settings. The kind of support varies in different areas depending on how much help is needed, and what provisions are in place.

What are the benefits of a career in homeless support?

Where do we start! There are so many scenarios where people find themselves homeless. Some may have struggled with severe financial difficulties; some homeless people have become estranged from their families and have nowhere to turn. There are a proportion of homeless people struggling with substance abuse who need help to recover, and others who have chosen to live outside of the mainstream.

The key to providing excellent social care for homeless people is in taking the time, and having the kindness and compassion, to listen and ensure the best possible support is in place for each individual person.

Benefits of homeless jobs and homelessness support are:

  • Opportunities to grow and develop – most employers are very keen to upskill their teams, and you will find opportunities to learn, study and develop your skills.
  • Diverse environment – working in homeless support is an incredibly versatile career and means working with all types of people in all sorts of environment.
  • Inclusivity – homeless people come from all walks of life, and access to support services is accessible and inclusive, so that everybody can get help when they need it.

What types of social care work does homelessness involve?

There are all sorts of ways that social care workers support the homeless. Remember that every act of kindness can mean a lot to somebody who is disconnected from the world, and carry a considerable value.

Examples of social care work include:

  • Ongoing health support for patients with long-term conditions including mental health needs and physical healthcare requirements. 
  • Personal care support with things like washing, clipping nails, cutting hair. 
  • Emotional support – sometimes having somebody to talk to is vital to quality of life, and social care workers might simply be there to listen and make referrals to agencies or departments who can help.
  • Housing support – where social housing is allocated to a homeless person they might need help with upkeep, managing a budget, learning about cooking and healthy eating, and how to manage their new home.

What hours do social care workers have in homeless services?

The hours depend on the nature of your role, your employer, and where your work is based.

Support workers in permanent facilities may work set patterns or work shifts on a rota. This is ideal if you have other commitments you need to arrange your work around, and means being able to pick and choose the shifts you can do!

 Working in supported housing for the homeless usually includes night work. Some people love the quieter nights and higher rates of pay, and others prefer to work during the day, so it’s really up to you what suits you best!

Does social care in homelessness revolve around housing?

Not necessarily, although it can do! One of the primary services is in providing safe, sheltered housing for vulnerable homeless people.

For some, this is a huge transition, and they need social care support to adapt to this new way of living, and to be able to manage independently in their own home.

Many homeless people are living with health conditions, including mental health, and so you might work:

  • Within a sheltered housing complex helping residents
  • With specific individuals who need one-to-one support
  • At a clinic, hostel or outreach venue helping homeless people who come in for support

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