Yesterday, Crisis, the DWP and DLUHC launched a new Homelessness Covenant with a range of partners, including the Good Business Charter, who have contributed to shaping it through an Advisory Board.
The Good Business Charter was invited because of its action around fair employment practices as well as the insight it brings from its network of over 1,000 employers, representing a range of sizes and sectors.
CEO, Jenny Herrera, who spoke at the launch, said: “It was really important to us that fair employment practices were a key part of the Homelessness Covenant – the reality is offering placements to those who are homeless will only be enough if those employers then support them with a real living wage, genuine care for their physical and mental wellbeing and an inclusive culture where all are welcome and all have a voice. GBC accreditation would be an excellent way for organisations signing up to the Covenant to be confident they have the right processes and culture in place to support those they offer work to.”
The Homelessness Covenant is a significant initiative aimed at addressing homelessness in communities through collaborative engagement with employers. The Covenant, developed by Crisis and supported by DLUHC and the DWP, recognises the collective power employers have to make positive changes in the lives of millions of people across the UK.
Matt Downie, Crisis Chief Executive said “We’re delighted to be launching the Homelessness Covenant to support and educate employers on homelessness. With almost one in four households in-work experiencing homelessness, it is vital that businesses understand all forms of homelessness – such as sofa-surfing and living in temporary accommodation – to ensure that their employ ees at risk can receive the support they need.
“Those in work and experiencing homelessness face a huge battle – many choose to conceal their circumstances out of fear they could lose their jobs, leaving them isolated from their colleagues. Daily activities like eating, sleeping and washing become extremely difficult to manage and often become a huge strain on their physical and mental wellbeing.
“We need everyone to play a part in tackling homelessness, and this includes businesses and employers providing the right assistance to staff when they fall on hard times. We hope that the
Homelessness Covenant will offer employers the right tools to support those facing homelessness and help us in our work towards ending homelessness for good.”
The Covenant will commit employers to:
- Provide employment and training opportunities for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness
- Adopt fairer employment and recruitment policies and practices to support people affected by homelessness
- Help end homelessness in local communities through fundraising, raising awareness, partnerships and volunteering