Uuras offers work and experiences of success 12.12.2023News Y-Säätiö’s Uuras employment programme creates pathways to work for residents. The aim is to increase the well-being of residents. Home ownership and meaningful work are a simple and effective recipe for independent and stable living. Uuras programme offers employment opportunities in three ways to residents of Y-Säätiö’s Y-Homes and M2-Kodit. One option is to apply for a job in one of the companies involved in the programme. The partner companies are committed to calling back all residents who have applied within a week. This gives residents looking for work a head start in the labour market and helps the partner companies find motivated workers. Residents can also work on a temporary basis through Uuras. Temporary jobs are ordered from within Y-Säätiö or from our re-rental partners. The jobs can be snow removal in your own yard, apartment cleaning or moving. In the gig-work model, residents do meaningful work for their own living environment. It also encourages people who have been out of work for a long time to find employment and provides an excellent supplementary income for students and pensioners, for example. Uuras also provides mentoring support for those who participate in the programme. Where necessary, Uuras staff can offer more support and guidance, for example on CV and job applications. Together, it is also possible to search for jobs and submit applications for vacancies on the open labour market. Experiences of success and inclusion Over the years, the Uuras programme has employed nearly 200 people. Some of those employed have been students looking for extra income through gig work, for example, while others have been in situations where access to the labour market through other means would have been very difficult and unlikely. Residents are therefore offered job opportunities tailored to their situation. The duration and content of the jobs are designed according to skills and work capacity. Full-time work is not possible, for example in cases of long-term unemployment. Successful experiences can be offered to all through meaningful work placements and support where needed. Residents who have participated in the activities have given particularly good feedback on the Uuras team of workers. They have been successful in meeting the residents and creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere. Continuous development and adaptation to change Combining housing and work has been a natural way to expand Y-Säätiö’s toolbox to support residents’ well-being. The Uuras programme aims to increase economic and social well-being and is in line with the Housing First model familiar with homelessness work. A home is the foundation for a stable daily life, enabling people to build a life of well-being. Once housing is secure, you can focus on developing other pillars of your life, such as your career. The Uuras action started in 2018 and is a continuation of the employment pilots carried out by the Foundation. It is constantly being developed. The aim is not only to increase volume but also to focus on employing people in challenging employment situations. As part of the development work, the effectiveness of the programme will be studied. Krista Kosonen, a researcher at the Y-Foundation, has started a multi-year follow-up study and interviewed residents employed through Uraa. Preliminary findings from the interviews support the phenomena observed in the everyday life of the employment programme. Kosonen says that the Uuras programme has even played a revolutionary role in the lives of the residents: “Some of the residents are in a situation in their lives where they need supportive guidance to participate in the workshops. For some of them, the Uuras programme has made a real difference. It has added meaning to their day and given them the experience of belonging to something. Such experiences of success are valuable and can be important steps forward in life.” Inactive residents value opportunities to work. “Inclusion and success are important, but of course, the extra income is also a motivation to go out and do gig work. However, many wonder about the impact of income on potential social benefits. After a long period of unemployment, the transition to work is not easy. Temporary jobs and the small extra income they bring provide a low threshold for this,” Kosonen continues. Jemina Karppinen, Employment Coordinator of the Uuras programme, says that the social support system seems to have an impact on the employment of residents: “The current social support system has its good points. It has been meaningful to take up work, as the pay from gigs has increased the money available. At the same time, residents gain valuable work experience, which in turn encourages and enables them to move on. I see the gig-work model as a low-threshold opportunity to return to work, and for many, it is also a rehabilitative activity for which they are paid. If in the future the protection component is removed, will it be more difficult to motivate people to work?” The Uuras programme has also employed residents experiencing homelessness. To eradicate and prevent homelessness, it is important to offer diversified and lighter solutions to support well-being in everyday life. Uuras, which combines work and housing, is a model example of this.