People’s City Mission program will place homeless clients in stable jobs

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – The People’s City Mission says one of the main reasons people stay homeless is a lack of employment opportunities.

So it created an in-house employment agency to train clients and place them in jobs.

Already, Pastor Tom Barber said it has seen success.

“We’ve got some pretty good people here at the mission, but sometimes because they’re homeless or at the shelter, people don’t want them,” he said. “Or there’s a lack of transportation or something, so we’re trying to bridge some of those issues and get more of our people into the workforce. It’ll help them; it’ll help the community.”

He said the mission will partner with a couple of larger businesses in the area, though he didn’t want to name them quite yet.

The program helps clients work on improving interview skills, developing strong work ethic and projecting a professional appearance.

Barber said the mission has a screening process to decide who is ready to commit to a stable job.

That process also helps the employer know they’re hiring someone reliable.

“If you say you’re at the mission, for a lot of employers, that can be a problem because we have a lot of folks here struggling with addictions and various problems, so they’re not sure they want to take them,” Barber said. “So we try to provide that service to help relieve the stigma of saying, ‘I’m in a homeless shelter.'”

He said the mission will work with the businesses to transport people to and from the job for training.

After that, the goal is to get them back on their feet so they can be self-reliant.

“When you’re unemployed, obviously it makes it harder to get an apartment or be outside of a homeless shelter,” he said. “We can’t do that with a lot of people, but we can do it with some. So we’re really trying to make sure people get to where they need to be.”

Barber said the mission has always been intended as a temporary waystation for those who are struggling, and this gives them an opportunity to find a more permanent solution.

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