Original Paper

The Journal of Primary Prevention

, Volume 28, Issue 3, pp 341-358

First online:

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

Recognizing Work as a Priority in Preventing or Ending Homelessness

  • Gary ShaheenAffiliated withAdvocates for Human Potential, Inc Email author 
  • , John RioAffiliated withAdvocates for Human Potential, Inc


The literature speaks to the importance of employment in the lives of homeless individuals and shows how they can be assisted in job seeking (Long & Amendolia, 2003; Marrone, 2005; Quimby, Drake, & Becker, 2001; Rio, Russell, Dudasik, & Gravino, 1999; Rog & Holupka, 1998; Shaheen, Williams, & Dennis, 2003; Trutko, Barnow, Beck, Min, & Isbell, 1998). Some reports suggest it may be effective and worthwhile to offer employment at the earliest stages of engagement to help people who are homeless develop trust, motivation, and hope (Cook et al., 2001; Min, Wong, & Rothbard, 2004). Practitioners have historically focused on providing people with access to safe and affordable housing and supportive services, usually addressing employment later in the continuum. This practice-oriented report from the field proposes that employment should be offered as early as possible and maintains that facilitating employment is an unrecognized and underutilized practice for preventing and ending homelessness. The paper provides principles, practices, and strategies programs can use to make work a priority.


Homeless Employment Work Housing