Economic Mobility Services

Financial education and career path development are vital to achieving financial stabilization and housing security, provided through our Economic Mobility Services.

Economic mobility is a critical component to disrupting generational cycles of homelessness and poverty. Families and individuals experiencing homelessness are financially vulnerable and particularly challenged by the Boston area’s expensive housing market.

Financial education and career path development are vital to our clients’ ability to achieve housing and financial independence. From the moment clients enter Heading Home programs, they work with dedicated case managers to develop an individualized action plan with both short- and long-term SMART goals and milestone markers. For clients in need of more specialized support (low credit scores, debt, career search), their case managers refer them to our Economic Mobility Services department for assistance in areas such as:

  • Employment Readiness
  • Achieving Academic Goals
  • Financial Empowerment/Management
  • Budget Planning
  • Job Search
  • Career/Skill Development
  • Credit Building/Repair
  • Debt Management

Working to obtain self-sufficiency with financial, career, or education goals is an important component of the client’s journey out of homelessness, designed by clients and their case managers to promote forward momentum led by the client themselves with case managers as supportive coaches in the process. When paired with housing, providing this critical service helps to create a stabilized, better-quality future for our clients and furthers our mission to end homelessness.

Listen to Bee’s story and how the Employment Readiness Program helped her create a pathway forward.

Employment Readiness Program

To better support clients navigating the changing economy and coinciding shifts in job availability, Heading Home’s Economic Mobility Services department launched the Employment Readiness Pilot Program (ERPP) for clients in the Fall of 2021. Built primarily on four educational pillars (career skill development, career training/internship, employment readiness workshops, and employment coaching), the ERPP is designed to help clients achieve living wage earnings and financial independence, the foundation of housing stability and upward economic mobility.

The ERPP is built primarily on four pillars designed to help clients achieve living wage earnings and financial independence, the foundation of housing stability and upward economic mobility.

1. Career Skill Development

Through a partnership with the online education and training provider, Penn Foster (, clients have the opportunity to enroll in career-skill tracks, GED/HiSet tracks, or a combination of both, diversifying and developing career-aligned, practical skills needed in a volatile job market.

Participants complete course requirements in 3-9 months asynchronously and are supported fully while participating in the program, receiving support from their education team at Penn Foster, their Heading Home case management team, and Economic Mobility Specialists. Private fundraising ensures tuition and fees are fully paid for all participants, as Heading Home endeavors to help clients overcome technological challenges to accessing online coursework. Currently, we have the following as available ‘tracks’ for participants to enroll in: Medical Assistant, Medical Administrative Assistant, Pharmacy Technician, IT Support Technician, Childcare Professional, Dental Assistant, Home Health Aide, Guest Service Agent, Electronics Technician, Occupational Therapy Aide, Security Guard, and Veterinary Assistant.

2. Career Training and Internship Placement

Studies demonstrate that workplace internships provide significant benefits to participants and their future employability. Not only does a workplace internship provide clients the opportunity to learn and gain work-based experience, but it also provides opportunities for the clients to be employed by the internship site employers. Internships create potential networking opportunities, offer a stepping stone to permanent employment, maximize hands-on practical knowledge, and build on existing Economic Mobility coaching from Heading Home specialists.

3. Employment Readiness Workshops

Through employment readiness workshops, participants have the opportunity to learn and enhance 21st-century skills, hone their job search capabilities, boost self-confidence in their employability, and receive 1:1 consultation with experts in Human Resources/Talent Acquisition.

4. Employment Coaching

An integral part of Heading Home’s evidence-based case management model is 1:1 coaching with case managers while they work to achieve their goals with the support of System Navigators (experts in Housing Search, Child Education, Economic Mobility, Mental Health). As the fourth and final pillar of the ERPP, coaching focuses on setting SMART goals and action plans, career planning, job interview coaching and preparation, and exploring employment opportunities.

Learn more from a variety of Boston organizations.