Life Skills Training
Life skills – like managing money, shopping, cooking, running a home and maintaining social networks are often take for granted. However, they are essential for living independently. Some homeless people do not have all of these skills, either because they never acquired them, or because they lost them through extended periods of homelessness. L.I.F.T helps homeless community members acquire these skills, helping them move on from homelessness to resettling into the community. Life skills training is different from support, help or assistance in that the aim is to promote self-sufficiency.
L.I.F.T life skills program addresses three broad categories:
1) Core or basic skills (e.g. numeracy, literacy and information technology)
2) Independent living skills (e.g. managing a household, budgeting, contacting services, appointment keeping, dealing with bills and correspondence)
3) Social skills (e.g. interpersonal skills, avoiding or dealing with neighbor disputes, developing self-confidence and social networks)
L.I.F.T’s employment training consists of two types of activities – building “hard skills and soft skills.” “Hard skills” refers to the learning of marketable skills (such as carpentry, computer repair, restaurant work) that increase the employability of our community members. “Soft skills” refer to the range of skills that help someone obtain and maintain employment. This includes training on job searches, resume preparation, job interviews, getting along with employers, etc. Employment services/training are crucial for individuals experiencing homelessness as they work to increase hirability.