Coordinated Entry System (CES) Employment Survey


INSPIRATION CORPORATION | September 15, 2018 | Taylor Divine; Anna Sobon

There are many circumstances that lead people to experience homelessness. Some people face long-standing or complex issues that need extensive support, and are at high risk of suffering severe hardship, dangerous health outcomes or even death as a result of homelessness. Others are homeless due to short-term disruptions and face far fewer barriers to stabilizing their housing.

For the latter group, some find themselves without stable housing because they lose a job, or cannot find work that pays enough for them to afford housing. However, little has been known about the employment prospects for people engaged with homeless services in Chicago. To address that knowledge gap, Inspiration Corporation conducted this study, with a grant from the Lloyd A. Fry Foundation, to obtain detailed information related to employment for a sample of people experiencing homelessness in the city.

Without the resources to do a survey of the entire list of people in the homeless information system, Inspiration Corporation consulted with other service providers and advocates to determine what subgroup should be selected for this study. As a result of those discussions, the study was limited to adults at least 25 years old who had been determined to have low levels of need. These would be people least likely to receive housing services and most likely to be able to gain income from working. The goal of the project was to interview 100 people and provide the first detailed look at this population’s demographics, past work experience, education levels, skill sets, and potential barriers to employment.

Carrie Felton