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    Frontline Workers: Urban Solutions for Developing a Sustainable Workforce in the Homeless Services Sector of Los Angeles County

    Antioch University Los Angeles

    Year: 2018

    Recruiting, cultivating, and retaining frontline workers are essential tools for serving residents without housing. This study examines the challenges associated with employee retention in the homeless services sector of Los Angeles County in order to provide evidence that supports policy recommendations to build a robust workforce. By using a combination of semi-structured interviews and the Life Events Checklist, this study found that employees from six different organizations are committed to their work, yet the average job tenure of frontline workers is only two years. Lack of trust, communication and leadership, absence of participatory development and workforce capacity building, and discouragingly low wages were identified as workplace challenges. Results also show that many frontline workers have experienced and/or witnessed trauma events, although stakeholders and policy makers often do not consider employee’s trauma exposure in this type of work. In the absence of an existing policy, this study supports recommendations in workforce strategies for staff recruitment, cultivation, and retention.

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