Kingdom Housing Association is currently trialing a new project that aims to break the ‘vicious circle’ of homelessness and unemployment.
Earlier this year, Kingdom was the first employer in the UK to guarantee shortlisting for all its job vacancies to applicants who meet the essential criteria for the role and who have been registered homeless in the preceding 12 months.
Named after Laurie Naumann, current vice-chair of Kingdom Housing, the ‘Naumann Initiative’ is designed to help people who are unemployed into work and decent housing.
The first role Kingdom is looking to recruit through the Naumann Initiative is a Tenancy Sustainment Worker, with the successful applicant supporting other people who have experienced homelessness help them make the transition to take up a home with Kingdom.
Applicants are said to not require experience of that type work as full training will be provided.
Kingdom recently held a support day at Carnegie Conference Centre in Dunfermline to promote the initiative to partner organisations and to aid potential applicants.
At the event, Bill Banks, the Kingdom group CEO, said: “The post will be a permanent job and the tenancy will provide a home which is not linked to the job, therefore it will be a secure and sustainable tenancy.
“The first six months of the job will be dedicated to building the post holder’s capacity, skills and knowledge and providing practical on the job training.
“Therefore, we are not looking for someone with direct housing experience, it is more about recruiting someone who will understand the issues that impact on homeless people when they try to take up a tenancy and someone who will be able to identify the issues and provide the personalised support required.”
“I hope other employers will be able to follow this initiative and develop similar projects which help to address homelessness, through employment opportunities.”
Judy Hamilton, Fife Council housing convenor, said: “At a time when homelessness is increasing in Scotland, I congratulate the Kingdom Group on the Naumann Initiative, which is innovative in challenging some of the complex issues around homelessness. It is compassionate in its approach and sector-leading.”
Laurie Naumann added: “Experiencing homelessness has many more challenges than simply not having a roof over your head.
“It can lead to a loss of self-esteem, social isolation, financial challenges and a lack of structure in day to day life.
“Employment helps resolve all those issues so, through the Naumann Initiative, we will address all those issues and, I hope, help to transform the life of the successful applicant.”
The current vacancy being filled through the Naumann Initiative closes on 14th June, with more details available on Kingdom’s website.