HUD’s Office of HIV/AIDS Housing (OHH) will be bringing you information on employment through a series of monthly emails. The emails will highlight key elements from the two efforts described below and provide ideas on how HIV/AIDS service providers can incorporate employment services into existing programs for PLWHA. This is the first in the series.
- The HOPWA Getting to Work Employment Initiative, completed in January 2013, was a year-long capacity building project that focused on increasing access to vocational services and employment for HOPWA program participants.
- In an effort to raise awareness about the importance of employment, HUD’s OHH and the U.S. Department of Labor (DoL) are currently developing employment-related capacity building resources for service providers.
Learn more now:
HOPWA Getting to Work Employment Initiative
Employment and Living with HIV/AIDS –Resource Guide
Workplace Flexibility Toolkit from DoL Office of Disability Employment Policy
And, stay tuned!
Getting to Work
Employment is an essential focus within the coordinated response to HIV/AIDS and is a key component of serving the whole person.
Why? Understanding the Value of Employment
- Due to advances in treatment, people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) are living longer and healthier lives and many have the desire and ability to work.
- Research indicates that, for many PLWHA, working is positively correlated with improved physical and mental health, increased independence and sense of meaningfulness, as well as decreased health risk behaviors.
- PLWHA can pursue employment without fear of losing their benefits. In fact, employment may provide additional access to healthcare services available under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA).
What? Defining Employment Services
“Employment services” encompass a broad range of activities that facilitate employment for individuals. HIV/AIDS housing and service providers focusing on strengthening the capacity of PLWHA to find and maintain employment are engaging in employment service provision.
Effective Employment Services:
- Meet people where they are at regarding their process of pursuing employment.
- Acknowledge the specific challenges of seeking and maintaining employment.
- Support job seekers in navigating important medical, legal, and financial considerations.
- Identify individual interests, values, strengths, barriers and job readiness.
- Provide information and guidance about legal protections that cover PLWHA.
- Address concerns and fears regarding potential changes to benefits.
The next email in the series is: Vocationalizing – Adopting an Employment Mentality.