According to the Canadian Mental Health Association, 75 to 85 per cent of people with serious mental illness are unemployed – despite the fact that up to 80 per cent of people with mental health problems could return to work in flexible work environments.
Houselink provides that work environment. We employ over 100 Houselink members – almost 1/3 of the adult membership – in part-time, casual and relief roles throughout the year. Members are hired and trained to provide:
- Property maintenance services, such as landscaping, cleaning, painting, patching drywall and snow shoveling
- Administrative services, including reception relief and courier services
- Program support, including drop in operators, peer support workers, arts and crafts leaders and community kitchen cooks.
All jobs have a training component to enable each employee to develop highly transferable skills. The counseling and supports we provide, as well as the experience of the job itself, help each program participant develop their full potential.
Participants receive fair wages, work experience, skills development, individual supports and a sense of independence. Houselink also provides professional job search coaching, resume preparation services and access to the internet.
Through our employment program, we are responding to this need and building the economic base of a historically impoverished community.