Kingdom Housing Association Expands Pioneering Initiative Tackling Unemployment and Homelessness

Monday, 29 March 2021

Kingdom Housing Association has launched ‘Working Out of Homelessness’, the second phase of The Naumann Initiative, the association’s groundbreaking project tackling unemployment and homelessness and is actively seeking local partner employers who are recruiting now or in the future.

Launched in 2019 The Naumann Initiative was aimed at breaking the vicious cycle of homelessness and unemployment, by giving a homeless person a home, a job with Kingdom, and support with any complex needs or barriers to sustaining their tenancy.

Working together with local employers, the second Phase of the Initiative sees Kingdom compile a register of accredited employers who will create additional Naumann vacancies for homeless people within their own organisations, with Kingdom Housing Association providing a safe and secure home for the successful candidates.

Kingdom Works, Kingdom Housing Association’s employability project, will provide recruitment support as well as funding for potential employees to gain certification or accredited training as required.

Lynne Dunn, Kingdom Works Manager said, “People find themselves homeless for a whole host of reasons, many times outwith their own control and through no fault of their own. It’s vital that we address preconceived ideas of homelessness and recognise the wealth of talent and potential that exists in the pool of candidates. Homelessness and unemployment often go hand in hand and being able to work with partner employers to tackle both is incredible.”

Agnes Bicket was recruited through the Naumann Initiative at Kingdom and explains how she found herself homeless and how her job has given her renewed optimism: "Early in 2019, I had to leave my private rented property and, with nowhere to go, I registered with the homeless team in Fife. I was placed in a hostel 15 miles from my hometown before being moved back a week later to another hostel. Three weeks later I was allocated temporary accommodation where I stayed for 7 and half months. While the hostels were clean and reasonably quiet, I shared the bathroom and kitchen facilities with the other tenants. This was an extremely unsettling time, I felt overwhelmed, lonely with no sense of security or belonging and unable to move on. This period was completely alien to me. 

When I moved to my temporary accommodation I was offered short term housing support from Penumbra, a Scottish charity that, amongst other things, supports people experiencing homelessness. My support worker received the job vacancy for the Tenancy Sustainment Worker role that Kingdom was recruiting to through the Naumann Initiative and encouraged me to apply. I applied, passed the assessment day and was offered the position. Along with the role, a secure tenancy was offered and I am pleased to say that I am now in my permanent home. I now have a secure employment and my own home, more self-confidence and, best of all, an opportunity to support people in the position I found myself in. I feel very positive and am looking forward to the future."

Kingdom Group Chief Executive Bill Banks said, “We’re an organisation with a purpose that extends beyond building and managing homes to building communities and improving the lives of the people in those communities. This is reflected in our mission to provide ‘More Than a Home’. I’m really passionate about the difference good work can make to communities so I’ve been a strong advocate for the Initiative and Kingdom’s Board has been hugely supportive too.”

In the summer of 2020, Leicester based PA Housing became the first employer outside of Scotland to adopt the model developed by Kingdom and launched a recruitment campaign for two full time roles. Much like Kingdom, PA Housing found the recruitment process so successful that they went on to recruit four people, all of whom are continuing to enjoy success at the association.

Employers who want to find out more or feel they can support ‘Working Out of Homelessness’ by creating a vacancy, allowing an individual the life changing opportunity to secure both a job and a home, can contact Jodie Clarke or Lynne Dunn at Kingdom Works by calling 01592 631991 or by emailing [email protected].