You Open the Door to New Opportunities!

Job Readiness Class students

Your support is bringing new employment services to even more people.

We believe in using proven best practices to support people as they build wellbeing. But we also recognize the need to respond with innovative solutions when the community’s needs change. Supportive Employment is one such solution, which aims to make in-house job support accessible to even more people.

The need for Supportive Employment

Seeking the right job can be a complicated—and daunting—process, requiring a great deal of time and research on the part of clients and their Case Managers. While Employment Specialists support the process with referrals for resources and job opportunities to pursue, Case Managers provide the one-on-one support to prepare clients for the workforce. With Supportive Employment, that intensive process will be supported fully by a specialized position within the Employment Program.

“The advantage will be that Employment Specialists know more about the market than Case Managers do. We have around 280 employment partners in the community, and we can add to that list depending on our clients’ needs and skills,” says Mike Kakarash, Employment Program Manager. Strong community partnerships make the program an ideal avenue for individuals and families who have ended their homelessness to begin accessing job opportunities. It also ensures that the client can build wellbeing in all areas of their life. “Case Managers will have more time to work with their clients on other goals if they don’t have to spend as much time on resumes, job searches, and following up with employers,” says Kakarash.

Specialized resources for the community

Access to a full spectrum of job-seeking services is something that our Employment Specialists are uniquely equipped to provide. The program has historically been accessed most by those who are internationally homeless, and a funding agreement with the Central Texas Office for Refugees allows Caritas of Austin to continue providing these services to new neighbors in the Austin community. The program is a valuable resource, linking families not only to jobs with a steady paycheck, but also Education Program classes that give them the skills to succeed long-term.

A recent Job Readiness Class was comprised of individuals from as diverse places as Russia, Rwanda, Cuba, and Venezuela. Over the course of a week, the students explored their possibilities and gained applicable skills to support their goals. Yannibel, who was a doctor in Venezuela and dreams of continuing in her profession here in Austin, says, “I learned how to fill out an application for employment here, which is very different from my own country. I also learned about the resources to help look for a job.”

Personalized support makes the difference

Like all of our services, employment support is highly personalized to meet each person’s needs. While individuals like Yannibel are now learning the customs for finding a job in the United States, the majority of individuals who will be served in Supportive Employment already speak English, have worked in the U.S. previously, and, now that they have stable housing, are ready to work. Others may have experienced long-term homelessness, have not worked in recent years, or need educational classes to build their skills. Whatever their unique situation is, an Employment Specialist will work with them to develop a practical plan for stability and, ultimately, long-term success.

Your support ensures that more individuals and families have a reliable income to meet their needs—so that they can build financial wellbeing and contribute in our community.