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My name is Billy. I've been homeless on and off for the last 40 years, I live in a hostel and I'm desperate to find work.

I've spent most of my life working on building sites but with arthritis, pins and a plate in my ankle, construction jobs are no longer an option.

I'm determined to get a job and so the Job Centre sent me to the Work Programme.

How would I describe my experience of the Work Programme?


They haven't listened to anything I've been saying. I walked in confused but I walked out of the place baffled.

I've even had my benefits stopped for not turning up to an appointment I actually did go to. For two weeks I had no money for food.

I want a job but the Work Programme has been no help at all.

And it’s not just my experience. A recent House of Commons report was damning in its criticism of the way the Work Programme is failing those who most need help.

That's why I've signed Crisis' petition calling on the government to reform the Work Programme so it really helps people like me and stops sanctioning people unfairly.

Please join me and demand a Work Programme that works.

Thank you,


Letter to
Iain Duncan Smith, the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions
Homeless people want to work and deserve a Work Programme that really helps them. We demand:

-Reform of the Work Programme so it really does support homeless people into employment, with specialist help provided by those who understand homelessness. The £248 million withheld from Work Programme providers because they underperformed could cover the cost of additional support in the short term, while commissioning should be reformed longer term
-A review of conditionality and sanctions. Stopping benefits in an unfair or haphazard way can leave vulnerable people destitute and makes finding work less, not more, likely

Crisis started this petition with a single signature, and now has 2,423 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.