Raising the Roof’s newest initiative HireUp – aims to prevent homelessness by tackling access to income at the source. We are breaking down the barriers to employment with the help of socially responsible companies, service providers and our handy online employment platform.

In 2016, HireUp received generous funding from the Innovative Solutions to Homelessness (ISH) grant stream administered by the Homelessness Partnering Strategy and Department of Employment and Social Development Canada, Government of Canada.

This funding created an opportunity to explore if the HireUp platform could be a viable solution to end homelessness. The project examined this in two ways. 1. By expanding the initiative and 2. Completing an evaluation of the model. To learn more about the evaluation read the COH report.

The final Government Report summarizes the findings of the HireUp evaluation conducted by the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness. In addition, it provides a summary of the learnings of this project and identifies future opportunities for development.

Lessons learned include:

  1. Large employers seek tools that require little to no extra work for hiring managers
  2. The social enterprise business model being used did not match the market size
  3. Data monitoring is extremely difficult for a job platform
  4. Expand pre-employment supports on the HireUp platform
  5. Increase employer buy-in

Opportunities for Future Planning:

  1. Merger with Raising the Roof
  2. Bringing together the demand and supply side
  3. Develop predictive care platform for human service agencies

We are happy to report that some exciting developments have already taken place. In September 2018 Raising the Roof merged with HireUp.

Building on the learnings of Raising the Roof’s Youthworks project, we are well positioned to respond to the second opportunity: bringing together demand and supply. We are working to bridge the gap between employers and service providers in two ways: 1. By building capacity to graduate skilled candidates from employment programming and 2. Working behind the scenes to break down barriers within the hiring process.

Finally, some of the previous members of the HireUp team have formed a new initiative, Supportive AI. The goal is to use artificial intelligence to create an opportunity for mental health service providers to take a proactive approach through the development of a ‘chatbot’ based assessment tool.

The team at Raising the Roof continue to support the advancements of Supportive AI and are keeping a curious eye on the project as these interesting advancements unfold.