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Purpose:

The goal of Crossroads Connect is economic and personal stabilization for participants through access to resources that lead to sustainable income and housing.

Need:

The majority of current focus for funding and programming within Atlanta’s homeless continuum of care is rightly on temporary housing, with trends toward a “Housing First” model while sustaining adequate shelter and transitional housing programs. Lesser prioritization has been given to funding nonprofit services that act as a pipeline providing information and access to housing, as well as the support needed to stabilize and maintain adequate housing, including employment services that lead to stable income. As a result, gaps in services remain that may prohibit many from achieving stable and sustainable employment that leads to permanent independent housing and provides the most viable long-term solution to homelessness.


Vision:

In response to the service gaps that exist within current housing and employment programming, Crossroads Connect will be a comprehensive employment resource center providing access to the tools needed to overcome every barrier to securing stable and sustainable employment and independent housing. The program will offer a dedicated facility for those seeking employment and, through strategic collaborative partnerships, provide resources to cover every need an individual experiencing homelessness may have during the day (8am-4pm), allowing them to focus on preparing for employment, identifying employment opportunities, securing employment and maintaining employment for more than 90 days.

Participants of Crossroads Connect will be recruited primarily from those engaged in Crossroads’ Renewal Project for at least 60 days. This program currently serves more than 4000 individuals per year, most of whom are referred by Atlanta’s leading providers of temporary shelter, including The Gateway Center, Atlanta Mission, Salvation Army, City of Refuge and many others. Candidates for the program will be required to submit an application and complete an interview with the program manager. Once accepted into the program a “work” schedule will be developed and participants will be held to general employment practices concerning schedule and accountability to the “employer.” This schedule will include general life skill and job readiness classes, industry specific skills certification, workplace safety certification, job coaching, job searches, mock interviews and seminars provided by corporate partners specific to their industry.

A unique component of Crossroads Connect will be collaboration and flexibility. The program will be open to participants of employment programs being offered by other service providers in Atlanta (i.e. First Step Staffing, New Hope Enterprises, ACSS, AWDA, Every Woman Works, etc.). Participants of these partner programs will have access to the employment resource center and Crossroads personnel during times they are not scheduled to participate in partner program activities. This avoids the barriers presented by those without access to shelter during daytime hours.

For more information or to apply, please contact Dominic Heard at dominic@crossroadsatlanta.org or 404-873-7606


Program:

In year one we project accepting 10 new participants each month. This number will increase in the second year to 15 per month and to 20 per month in year three. We project a timeline of six to twelve months for an individual to move from homelessness and unemployment to sustained employment and stable independent housing

*General Resources:

  • Showers
  • Laundry
  • Lockers
  • Meals
  • Clothing and Shoes

 
*Employment Specific Resources:

  • Access to a computer with internet and printer
  • Phones
  • Mailing address
  • Documentation (Birth Certificate, State ID, Social Security Card)

 
*Preparing for Employment:

  • Resume building training/assistance
  • Interview skills training
  • Teamwork training
  • General Job Readiness training (curriculum based)
  • General Life Skills classes (curriculum based)
  • Computer Literacy and keyboarding
  • Other soft skills training
  • Coaching from HR personnel
  • Legal assistance (expungement, fines, parole, etc.)
  • Mental/Behavioral Health resources; counseling; life coaching; mentorship
*Identifying Employment Opportunities:

  • Online search of identified sites
  • Online applications
  • Connection with staffing and training programs (First Step, New Hope, Every Woman Works, AWDA, Job Corps, etc.)
  • Crossroads partnership with corporations; networking with corporate HR personnel

 
*Securing Employment:

  • Transportation to interviews; first two weeks of employment
  • Assistance with clothing/uniforms
  • Hygiene items
  • Advocating with employers; Reference resources

 
*Maintaining Employment:

  • Financial literacy
  • Budgeting
  • Credit Repair
  • Banking
  • Housing stability
  • Transportation stability
  • Job/Life Coach; mentorship
  • Continued life skill training (nutrition, parenting, self-care, etc.)