We see employment as the most important, and most effective, route out of homelessness. We also recognise that working poverty is increasing with more people trapped in a cycle of low and insecure pay. For this reason, we focus on progression within employment so moving people on from the cycle of homelessness. Participants on our programmes will all have experienced homelessness. But hand in hand go many other issues: dependency on alcohol and drugs, problems with physical and mental health – and difficulties with family and wider relationships. Every individual will have their own particular experiences and we work in as individual a way as we can.
At the House of St Barnabas, we:
- welcome people into a vibrant community
- provide support, learning and personal development programmes to build confidence and self-esteem
- teach the skills of work and the reality of working practices, providing practical work experience, and supporting the attainment of vocational accredited qualifications
- work with Employer Partners to understand what they want from their workforce and to broker employment within their organisations for those we support
- support progression as people apply for jobs, and continue to support them and their employers as they become accustomed to the routines of employment and independent living
- raise awareness of the challenges homelessness creates through our growing networks, and
- under the direction of a team of professional staff, seek to make the House a purposeful, inspiring and friendly place, offering a range of development, learning and cultural opportunities.
We already have ambitions to create a larger impact so increasing existing, and considering new, funding streams are important to our development.
Currently, the House’s focus is to directly impact the lives of individuals through the Employment Academy and to impact our community by providing access to the club for local people and by hosting cultural events. In the future, the House will focus on four ways to increase its impact over time:
- increasing scale and capacity – more individuals going through the Employment Academy and moving into work with quicker wage progression
- creating opportunities in new employment sectors
- thought leadership – sharing our learnings and our understanding of what works and doesn’t work, and
- supporting our growing community of change makers with their work and engaging them with ours.
The founders were a group of Anglican Christians, we still have an active Chapel and the Bishop of London is our visitor but, from those early days, people remarked on the diversity of those with whom we have worked and we are committed to diversity on the Board and in the community that is the House of St Barnabas