Innovative, new program provides people experiencing homelessness with housing, an employment opportunity and support to break the cycle of homelessness and increase housing affordability.
Nationally recognised homelessness services charity, Dignity, has today launched Ready To Work Housing, in partnership with Fantastic Furniture. This innovative and unique program provides 22 people who are experiencing homelessness with safe, stable housing for up to 12 months; an employment opportunity; and on-site support to ensure participants have the wrap-around support they need to progress through the program and increase housing security.
Homelessness can happen to anyone and more than 116,000 Australians are experiencing homelessness on any given night. Homelessness is a problem that Dignity believes can be solved through collaboration and by empowering people in crisis to restore their dignity.
With a vision of scaling its impact in the homelessness sector, Dignity developed the new Ready To Work Housing program in collaboration with the program’s major sponsor Fantastic Furniture and other companies in the business sector; government and non-government agencies; and charity partners, to address the barriers people experiencing homelessness face finding employment.
“Ready To Work has been designed to drive lasting reductions in the number of Australians experiencing homelessness as well as increasing affordability. At a time when housing is simply unaffordable for many people, the Ready To Work program empowers residents to break the cycle of homelessness for good.”Dignity CEO, Suzanne Hopman
The 22 brand-new Ready To Work studio units are located in Campbelltown, NSW, and fully furnished by program partner Fantastic Furniture and appliances supplied by the Winnings Group. A common room and garden will encourage a sense of community among residents with BBQ facilities, vegetable garden and Dignity Food Relief freezers stocked with volunteer-made meals.
Fantastic Furniture CEO and Dignity Chair, Kieron Ritchard, commented, “Fantastic Furniture has been a long-time partner and supporter of Dignity and this program aligned with our belief that every Australian deserves a home that’s safe, happy and sustainable. We know securing and maintaining employment is key to sustainable transitions out of homelessness and into stable housing and that is the end goal of the program.”
“Not only were we able to provide the furniture to make these new units feel like an inviting new home, but we have also provided employment opportunities for the new residents and they are proving to be Fantastic employees.”Fantastic Furniture CEO, Kieron Ritchard
Addressing the barriers that many people experiencing homelessness face, Ready To Work participants are provided with everything they need for their 12-month housing placement and new job. This includes a mobile phone with free data and calls, internet connection in their unit and access to a new wardrobe of clothes, shoes and accessories thanks to our charity partner, Thread Together. The on-site ‘Dressing Room’ contains clothes suitable for all occasions including interview attire, work gear, and casual clothing.
Ready To Work Housing program participant, John* said, “I was living in my car, I had nowhere to go. Dignity has not only helped get me out of my car and off the streets, they’ve helped me get back into work and that means a lot. The support that they’ve given me, and this program is amazing. And I love my job! Each day I’m so excited about going to work.”