From Ed Blackburn, Central City Concern Executive Director:
The Regional Research Institute for Human Services at Portland State University conducted a study of employment outcomes for the Central City Concern Employment Access Center (EAC) Supported Employment Program from 2007-2009. The EAC provides services to more than 7,000 homeless and very low income individuals each year through 45,000 visits. It includes programming for homeless veterans, individuals exiting prisons and a program using the nationally recognized evidence based practice Individual Placement and Support model of Supported Employment.
This program is funded through a combination of Portland Development Commission Economic Opportunity Initiative and HUD Supportive Housing Program (McKinney) grants. This study utilized secondary data originating from the City of Portland Homeless Management Information Systems (HMIS), CCC’s employment records from the three supported employment programs and CCC’s substance abuse treatment datasets. Three hundred and nineteen unduplicated clients were served by the Supported Employment program over the two year study period.
All individuals in this study were homeless upon entry into CCC programs and had primary addiction disorders. The majority (70%) had felony convictions. Ninety-seven percent of enrollees were individuals who had chosen to enter into substance use treatment and live in CCC’s Alcohol and Drug Free Community Transitional Housing (ADFC). They were referred by a variety of homeless treatment providers within the Homeless Alcohol and Drug Intervention Network (HADIN). Half were enrolled into CCC’s substance abuse treatment program (49%), one- third had committed at least one crime in the last five years, and 28% met the HUD definition for chronic homelessness. Despite these numerous barriers to employment, outcomes in this study were favorable.
The major findings of this study were:
- 71% of all clients (227) served by the supported employment program achieved employment
- Individuals were employed across 12 different business sectors
- Over half (53%) of Supported Employment (SE) participants worked full time while another 28% worked 21-31 hours per week
- The average wage was $9.96 per hour (median wage was $8.70)
- 72% of those enrolled in CCC’s Outpatient Treatment Recovery Center completed treatment.
Associated costs include $1,754 in supported employment programming per person per year and $4,434 in supported housing and treatment per person per year.
The findings of this study indicate that this model of supported employment is a cost effective model for individuals with primary addictions who experience homelessness and have substantial history of criminal justice involvement.
A copy of the full study may be found at: