Quarter of all homeless 'in work'

A QUARTER of homeless people are working, according to a report by statistics body Insee.

5 January 2016
By Connexion journalist

Of the estimated 141,500 homeless in 2012, 24% are in work. Of these, 93% are in low-paid casual jobs in service, catering and construction.

Another 37% are classed as “inactive” – a blanket term including disabled people and those bringing up children or lacking work papers – and the other 39% are unemployed.
Only 43% of homeless people are eligible for and receive unemployment benefits.

The picture is not the traditional one of a tramp who shuns mainstream society and has never worked, says Christophe Robert, the assistant director of homeless charity, Fondation Abbé Pierre.

He said: “People today often become homeless following domestic breakdowns, unemployment or illness.”

Mr Robert added that about a third were in work when they became homeless but about 85% of homeless people make less than €1,200 a month, 60% make less than €900 and many do not have work contracts.

Most SDFs (sans domicile fixe, or people with no fixed abode) do not actually sleep on the streets, finding temporary lodgings with charitable associations such as Emmaüs or state-run day centres and homeless shelters.

The vast majority try to hide their homelessness from potential employers, to avoid discrimination, but they also suffer lack of confidence and a chaotic lifestyle which can make punctuality and regular attendance at work a challenge.

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