Making Work “Work”: Adaptive Economic Engagement for People Facing Barriers to Employment

Making Work “Work”: Adaptive Economic Engagement for People Facing Barriers to Employment

Released: 2023-07-22

Prepared by: Lindsey Richardson, Anita Minh, Maren Tergesen, Deb McCormack, Rosemary Hunt, Allison Laing, Johanna Li.

Contributors: British Columbia Centre on Substance Use; Canadian Institutes of Health Research; Assessing Economic Transitions Study (ASSETS) Team

Report written in evaluation of Eastside Works and Low-Threshold Economic Opportunity provision following completion of British Columbia Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction Research & Innovation Grant awarded to Eastside Movement for Economic and Business Development Society. “…this evaluation began as an examination of EMBERS Eastside Works, a unique economic engagement hub and leading low-threshold opportunity provider in Vancouver. Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, it has evolved into a more comprehensive exploration of low-threshold engagement models in Vancouver. Among opportunity providers, there is a strong emphasis on collaboration, and EMBERS Eastside Works is a core hub for individuals and providers within a broader, emergent, and dynamic economic engagement ecosystem. The evaluation is nested within the Assessing Economic Transitions (ASSET) Study, a mixed-methods, longitudinal cohort study that explores the financial, health, and social impacts of economic engagement for people who face barriers to employment. Data from quarterly surveys from 332 participants gathered between April 2019 and April 2023 were analyzed to describe economic engagement and its impacts across the Livelihoods Continuum. Survey data are supported by qualitative interview data from a subset of 41 participants, which capture experiences with low-threshold economic engagement. Thirty-seven percent of participants self-identified as Indigenous and 52% self-identified as white. Over 67% of participants have at least high school education, 13% were unstably housed at enrolment, and 18% had experienced incarceration during their lifetime.”

To read the full report, click here.