Charities pledge to give 10% of jobs to former rough sleepers

Homeless charities have set themselves a new target of recruiting at least 10% of their workforces from ex-homeless people.

The government-backed plan aims to help about 800 people find work in the voluntary sector over the next two years. The initiative will focus on the 46 biggest organisations for the homeless before moving on to other smaller charities across England.

Under the scheme, charities will be given £200,000 worth of support and advice to help them employ ex-homeless people. The charities will get support to set up training courses across many areas of their business, including IT, finance and client counselling.

Housing minister Caroline Flint said: “Finding a job after a period of inactivity and without a permanent address can be one of the hardest things for any of us to do and for the homeless this can prove to be a daunting task.

“I want to see homelessness organisations across the country taking up the challenge and unlocking the skills and talents of people to the benefit of all.”

The scheme will be one of the measures that will form part of the government’s updated rough-sleeping strategy to be released later this year, which aims to end the practice of sleeping rough in the UK.

The National Rough Sleeping Estimate for 2008 shows there are 483 people sleeping rough on the streets of England on any single night.

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