Springfield, MO

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Ask the Experts: Employers and Homeless Workers
Mike Coonrod, sbjLive Producer

Ask the Experts: Employers and Homeless Workers

Posted online

Kelly Harris, Director of Safe to Sleep, says the biggest obstacle faced by the working homeless is transportation. She says many times, homeless people need a place to keep their possessions while they’re working. Harris says workplaces can help by allowing them a place to store a suitcase and not judging them or placing labels on them because they are homeless. “Allow them to show their worth and their work ethic and give them that chance to be a great employee,” she says. This is sponsored content.

Duration: 1:58

Video Transcription:

- So today we're talking about business and I really wanna hone in on a subject that is not talked about a lot and that is the working homeless and the obstacles that they have in the workforce. And so, at Safe to Sleep you have a number of women that actually are working homeless that stay with you. What are the obstacles that you see with them?

- The biggest obstacle usually is transportation and what to do with their things. A lot of times they have a suitcase and that contains all of their worldly possessions and they need to take that with them. Having a place to keep their stuff while they're working.

- Right.

- And getting to the job on the city bus or if they have a vehicle working around those work schedules, and still being able to get sleep.

- Now, what are some positive ways that you've seen that women have been able to partner with their employers and get around some of those obstacles?

- We have a young lady who started working a couple of months ago. She started as a temporary and now she's been hired on full time. She had some bills and she was able to, she's paid all of those off and she has a car so now she can get to work and now she's saving for housing. And staying at Safe to Sleep allows her to have a place to sleep at night and be able to save that money to get into a house.

- That's wonderful and so some ways that employers can help would be maybe being flexible on their schedule but what about the suitcase?

- So the suitcases, allowing them to keep that some place at the work place, a safe place but more importantly not judging them for having that suitcase, and not putting labels on them. Allow them to show their worth and their work ethic and give them that chance to be a great employee.

- That's awesome, thank you so much Kelly.


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