5 Best Jobs For The Homeless

5 Best Jobs For The Homeless

So you’re struggling and need to make some cash, but conventional jobs don’t seem possible in your situation. Don’t lose hope just yet – there are ways to earn money even when living on the streets. While it could require some hustle, you could get work without a permanent address. In this blog post, were exploring 5 of the best jobs to pursue if you’re currently homeless.

They range from quick informal gigs to more steady employment. With some grit and creativity, you could get by even in tough circumstances. The work may not be glamorous, but it’s going to provide much-needed income. Let’s dive into some practical options for making money when you’re homeless.

Jobs That Don't Require an Address

Things like online surveys, market research, website testing, and online tutoring are all things doable from anywhere. The important thing is finding what skills you have that translate well to remote work.

Online Surveys and Market Research

Companies are always looking for people to provide opinions and insights. Sign up on websites like Survey Junkie, Swagbucks, and InboxDollars to take paid online surveys and market research studies. These typically don’t require any special skills and you could do them from anywhere with an Internet connection.

Website Testing

If you’re comfortable navigating websites and mobile apps, website testing could be an option. Companies such as UserTesting, TryMyUI, and Userlytics hire people to test websites and mobile apps, then provide feedback. Tests typically only take 15 minutes and pay is also around $15 each test.

Day Labor and Temp Agencies

Day labor and temp agencies are great options if you need work right away. You show up, check in, and get assigned jobs on the spot like construction, warehousing, or event setup.

The jobs typically last a day or a couple days. It’s a way to gain experience, build up your resume, and earn an income when you need it.

Flexibility and Immediate Pay

The best benefit of day labor and temp work is flexibility. You can often find work the same day you show up, and the jobs end quickly so you’re not locked into anything long-term. You also get paid daily or weekly in cash, so you don’t have the usual delay that comes with a regular payroll system. For those in need of quick money and temporary work, day labor agencies are ideal.

Gain Experience

While the work could be short-term, gain useful experience to help in finding a more permanent job. Day labor and temp jobs expose you to different fields and work environments. Strengthen skills and possibly discover new interests and talents. The contacts you make and relationships you build may also lead to other opportunities.


The temporary nature of the work can be a downside. There’s no job security or guarantee of ongoing assignments. The jobs typically don’t provide benefits like healthcare, time off, or retirement. The work could also be physically demanding and the hours long. Still, for many people in need of income and work experience, day labor and temp agencies provide a valuable service. With persistence, you could find temp-to-hire jobs and make connections that lead to more stable or supported employment.

Service Industry and Tipped Jobs

Service industry jobs could be a great opportunity to start making some cash:

Waiting Tables

Waiting tables at a restaurant is a challenging yet rewarding job for those experiencing homelessness. As a server, you rely on tips as a significant part of your income, so providing great customer service is essential. While the base pay may be low, a good server at a busy restaurant could make $20-30 an hour or more in tips. The hours are often flexible and part-time, allowing you to look for additional work or attend to personal needs. Many restaurants provide free or discounted meals as an additional benefit. The fast-paced environment and team atmosphere also provide a good social connection that could help with combating isolation.


For those with a friendly, outgoing personality, bartending can be an excellent source of income from tips. Bartenders typically make $10-15 an hour in base pay, but could earn $20-40 an hour or more in tips, especially at busy bars and nightclubs. The hours are often flexible, and many bars provide free or cheap drinks and meals. However, the job does require obtaining licensing and certifications to serve alcohol. Late nights, loud music, and drunk customers also make it a demanding job. But with the right person, bartending tips can provide a steady income and social interaction.


Working as a barista making coffee drinks is an option for those looking for a relatively low-stress job. Baristas typically make $9-12 an hour, but tips can add an additional $5-10 an hour. The hours are often part-time and flexible, allowing time for other pursuits. Minimal training is required, and the job provides an opportunity to build customer service skills that translate to other areas of work. A downside is that tips are often lower than for bartenders and servers. However, for those wanting an entry-level position with room for growth, barista can be a great start.

The service industry provides opportunities for social interaction and earning potential from tips. While demanding, jobs like waiting tables, bartending, and barista work could be a lifeline for people experiencing homelessness to gain financial stability and independence. With the right attitude and work ethic, tipped positions in the service industry offer a chance to get back on your feet.

5 Best Jobs For The Homeless

Programs That Help Find Jobs and Housing

There are several programs aimed at helping the homeless find stable jobs and permanent housing. Government agencies, nonprofits and charitable organizations all offer resources for those in need.

Job training

Organizations like Goodwill, Salvation Army and local homeless shelters offer job training and placement programs for people who need help entering or re-entering the workforce. They provide skills assessments, resume help, and job placement assistance. Some also offer transitional housing while people complete job training.

Section 8 vouchers

The Section 8 program provides housing vouchers to subsidize rent for low-income individuals and families. Though waitlists can be long, Section 8 is one of the best options for affordable housing. Voucher-holders pay 30-40% of their income toward rent, with Section 8 covering the remaining amount.

SNAP benefits

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) helps supplement food costs for those in need. SNAP benefits can be used to purchase most grocery items. Applying for SNAP is relatively straightforward, though to qualify, recipients must meet income requirements. SNAP benefits can provide much-needed relief from food insecurity.

Nonprofit grants and assistance

Many nonprofit organizations provide grants and assistance for critical needs like utility bills, childcare, medical care, and transportation. While funding is often limited, nonprofits work to fill in the gaps and provide relief when possible.

With patience and persistence, the homeless can access resources to help them get back on their feet. Programs provide opportunities for job training, housing, food and financial assistance. Though navigating the system is sometimes frustrating, the rewards of self-sufficiency make the effort worthwhile. With support from their community, people can end homelessness.

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