Employment and Training for America’s Homeless: Best Practices Guide

Susan Kessler Beck


The Job Training for the Homeless Demonstration Program (JTHDP) was authorized under Section 731 of the McKinney Homeless Assistance Act of 1987 (Public Law 100-77). The overall purpose of JTHDP was to “provide information and direction for the future of job training for homeless Americans.” Two supporting goals of the initiative were: to gain information on how to provide effective employment and training services for homeless individuals; and to learn how states, local public agencies, private nonprofit organizations, and private businesses can develop effective systems of coordination to address the causes of homelessness and meet the needs of the homeless. This report provides a synthesis of the results, key findings, and implications of the demonstration effort. The report covers the results of the demonstration from its inception in September 1988 through November 1995. JTHDP demonstrated that with the appropriate blend of assessment, case management, employment, training, housing and support services, a substantial proportion of homeless individuals can secure and retain jobs, and improve their housing condition. Since JTHDP’s inception in 1988, of the over 45,000 homeless individuals served by demonstration sites, almost 35,000 received employment and training services, and about 16,500 obtained employment.

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