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Across Australia, more than 100,000 people experience homelessness every night. And for many homeless individuals, unemployment is a major factor in the homelessness cycle.
Now, UWA students are working to help homeless individuals find jobs.
Project leader and Bachelor of Commerce student Tayla Byatt says the project is responding to an overwhelming demand from UWA students to tackle homelessness.
“The concept of Create Vision started when Enactus UWA went to the students and asked what social issue they want us to address. Homelessness received an overwhelming response,” Tayla explained.
“Reflecting this, we have partnered with Ruah, a community services organisation based in Northbridge, to empower and upskill homeless individuals throughout the job-seeking process and beyond.
“Enactus UWA has implemented a two-hour CV writing session on weekly basis, supporting and working with Ruah’s clients. We work with individuals to articulate their past experiences, define their future goals, and realise their potential.
“The overall and long-term goal of Create Vision is to work with every client at Ruah that requires our help. Short-terms goals include helping our current clients finish their CV and helping clients we have already worked with find potential employment. Other general targets are to isolate other issues our clients face, and investigate whether we may also be able to address these through the project.”
With previous studies showing that homeless young people often have less work experience to draw on, as well as facing additional challenges including interrupted education, family violence and ongoing health issues, finding stable employment is often challenging.
Enactus UWA has eight members delivering sessions at Ruah, working one-on-one with clients to construct CVs.
“Enactus UWA members have been provided with training, and resources like résumé templates, to help them throughout the session,” Tayla explains. “There are also two sub-groups within the Create Vision project. One group is researching and creating partnerships, so we can help find employment for the clients we have worked with. The other group is looking at business models so we can re-structure and improve our project.
“This project requires a lot of hard work, persistence and dedication. All these skills are things we have developed through doing group assignments and as UWA students.”