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As the membership organisation for homelessness sector, Homeless Link works in the interests of the workforce. There are thousands of people working in homelessness and adjacent sectors. The work can be incredibly rewarding but also comes with many challenges.

We help our members to recruit and retain the very best staff and volunteers to deliver the best services. We also research and advocate on behalf of the workforce.

Find out more about becoming a Homeless Link member.


We have created a range of resources to support the sector when it comes to recruitment.

Jobs Board

This is where homelessness services can advertise any vacancies to thousands of interested users.

Find out more

DBS Guidance

We've produced an overview of the different types of Disclosure and Barring Service checks when recruiting.

Find out more

Job descriptions

We have created standard job descriptions for common roles in the homeless sector, from advice workers to Project Managers, and even Chief Executives and trustees.

Find out more

Recruitment policies

For organisations who are new to employment we can offer consultancy support such as with drafting policies etc.

Find out more

What's it like to work in homelessness?

This is a video of interviews with different people who currently work in the sector.


Training and development is crucial to staff retention. Homeless Link delivers an extensive training programme through a combination of open courses that individuals can attend, or tailored courses that can be delivered in house. In particular we are currently running a training programme that is accredited by the Chartered Institute of Housing. This level three Certificate in Providing Homelessness Services is a unique initiative – aiming to give people qualifications that are recognised across the industry.

With our unique understanding of the Homelessness workforce, Homeless Link is also currently creating a skills framework for the sector, in a project funded by DLUHC.

Taking our learning from frontline work we have produced a series of resources on psychologically informed management.

We offer specific training and support in leadership for staff moving into management, and also for established leaders, right up to CEO level.

And we offer coaching for leaders, groups and teams for all levels, including specialist coaching for leaders and sessions for teams. All of which can contribute to the retention of staff.

Looking after the wellbeing of staff is critical in retention, particularly in high stress and complex jobs that are often found in homelessness. We run a number of courses on this. For example looking at Time Management, managing Stress and Trauma and Reflective Practice.

And if you prefer a podcast you can listen here:

You can read about the experience of a course attendee in this guest blog.

A critical part of retaining staff is to ensure that the working environment is equitable, diverse and inclusive. Homeless Link is on our journey to continually improve our efforts in this space (see our strategy), but we also have a number of resources available to help Homelessness Organisations:-

A new national skills framework

As part of our core grant from DLUHC, Homeless Link is to develop a new national skills framework, designed to be a key resource to support the learning and development of the housing and homelessness workforce.

The skills framework will provide key information on the homelessness sector, focusing on the career pathways, occupations and job roles with it, as well as the competencies, both existing and emerging required for each role. The competencies are the skills, knowledge and behaviours that underpin effective delivery and will improve across training delivered and service provision across the sector.

It aims to create a common skills language for the current and prospective workforce to help facilitate the recognition of transferable skills, knowledge and behaviours and support career development, so that skills can be passported between services helping the sector to retain qualified, knowledgeable staff.

For each competency there will be a description of what it means in practice and some examples of effective and ineffective behaviours at all levels. The competencies are intended to be discrete and cumulative, with each level building on the levels below.

The framework can be used for recruitment, performance management and development discussions and for decisions about progression.

For more information visit our National Homelessness Skills Framework page.

For more information about workforce issues


Kate Alaway

Head of Member Services

Kate is our head of member services managing the team who work directly with our members across England.