Austin Street's "LifeWorks" Work Readiness Program

Austin Street Center’s quest for rehabilitation of our clients continues to evolve.

LifeWorks is Austin Street’s step-wise work readiness program, helping to prepare individuals experiencing chronic homelessness, substance abuse issues, and mental and/or physical disabilities to re-enter the world of work.

The goal of LifeWorks is to enhance social and coping skills, promote a recovery-oriented lifestyle, and encourage clients to prepare for employment outside the shelter environment.

As Austin Street client participants move from volunteer status into the LifeWorks program, they have an opportunity to work directly with a peer, to improve existing transferable skills, and promote growth within a desired occupation.

The advantages of pursuing a peer-support approach (as opposed to more traditional avenues) include;

  • Rapid rapport
  • Trust
  • Lack of power differentials

Additionally, Austin Street Center clients participating in LifeWorks are expected to engage in a weekly Job Club. This Job Club provides an atmosphere of trust, where clients freely discuss challenges with recovery, fears about the future, and support each other on their journey toward self-sufficiency. Job Club group facilitation focuses on the following key topics intended to prepare Austin Street clients for the world of work:

  • Barriers to employment
  • Skills, interest, personality and social support assessments
  • Resume development
  • Job search and interviewing strategies
  • Conflict resolution
  • Job retention strategies