This is the final report of a three-year evaluation of the Tackling Multiple Disadvantage (TMD) project.
TMD was a Building Better Opportunities (BBO) project funded by the Big Lottery Fund and the European Social Fund (ESF). The project operated across 17 London boroughs and was delivered by a partnership of homelessness and mental health organisations: Crisis, St Mungo’s, Thames Reach and Mind in the City, Hackney and Waltham Forest (Mind CHWF).
TMD was delivered between April 2017 and March 2020 and aimed to support people experiencing homelessness with multiple and complex needs into training or employment. The support model was designed to holistically address participants’ needs to enable them to develop the stability, confidence and skills to access employment.
- TMD shows that personalised housing and employment coaching is an effective model to support people experiencing homelessness with multiple and complex needs into employment.
- The TMD project achieved a 27% employment outcome rate – substantially higher than recent comparable projects supporting people with multiple and complex needs
- A safe and stable home provides a foundation that’s essential for everything else. The TMD evaluation found a positive correlation between gaining secure housing and sustaining employment – 48% of jobs were sustained for six months, which rose to 68% of jobs among participants who had secured housing.
- Housing insecurity was particularly damaging to participants’ mental health. Those who felt unsafe or in danger due to their living situations reported being unable to relax or focus on addressing other priorities, including finding work.
- The main challenges identified in the project were gaps in external support, limited in-work support, and high staff turnover due to administrative burdens of the funding
- Entering work could result in people feeling financially unstable as a result of having navigated initial changes to their income, benefits, or housing costs. Entering work could also exacerbate precarious housing situations
- We all need a home to build a life and to thrive. The TMD evaluation found that accessing and sustaining tenancies was a crucial outcome that can help people progress into employment in the future.