Anglicare WA


Anglicare WA's Work for Independence Challenge

Help us create a successful first step into employment for young people experiencing homelessness.

This challenge is closed


This challenge is closed





Project Challenge


How do we make the first step towards employment successful and empowering for young people experiencing homelessness?

We are asking you for your best ideas – be bold, be creative, think big and think left field!

The challenge is open to everyone who is driven to help create more independent and empowered futures for young people experiencing homelessness. We know that great ideas often come from unexpected sources. We encourage people from all backgrounds, ages and professions to participate.

(Please refer to “Guidelines” for more challenge details).



Anglicare WA and Designing for an Independent Future

Anglicare WA is a leading not for profit organisation with over 40 years of experience providing social services to children, young people, individuals, families and communities. In 2016-17 Anglicare WA provided support to over 42,000 people, through 86 services and across 44 locations in Western Australia.

Designing for an Independent Future (D4IF) is an innovative Empowering YOUth Initiative project based at Anglicare WA and funded by Department of Employment. D4IF’s mission is to rethink the way young people who experience homelessness connect with employment through a human-centred design approach.



At any one time in Western Australia, there is an estimated 6,000 young people (aged 16-24) experiencing homelessness. Homelessness does not just refer to people who live on the streets, but also includes sleeping rough, couch surfing, or in crisis and transitional accommodation. These young people are amongst the most at risk of long-term unemployment and long-term adult homelessness.

Although there are different paths into homelessness, many often start with family break down and are traumatic in nature. As a result, these young people lose the close support of family and relatives, and are at high risk of disconnecting with school and/or work, which further complicates the job seeking process down the line.



For many, the first jobs in life came through established connections. Young people who experience homelessness do not necessarily have this network of friends or family to help them take their first step towards employment. This is one of many reasons we need to support young people experiencing homelessness into employment.


Some key insights from young people experiencing homelessness:


  • Low confidence in applying for jobs
  • Low self-worth
  • Fear of rejection – it is safer to not put yourself out there
  • Difficulty in developing trust with adults/”the system”
  • Low experience in applying for and engaging in mainstream work
  • Incomplete school/vocational completion (low literacy, computer literacy)
  • Mental health (homeless young people are 50% more likely to be diagnosed with a mental health condition than unemployed young people).


  • Financial independence
  • Sense of purpose and belonging
  • Regular life routine
  • Resilience
  • Being able to care for others
  • Mental health recovery

This is a unique and complex challenge, and we need all of your support, creativity and ideas to truly rethink how homeless young people connect and engage with employment.

Almost as good as an entry – help us spread the word!

  • “Share” this challenge with your networks, or anyone you know who has a passion for social impact. Click on “Share” or any of the relevant social media icons.
  • “Follow the Challenge” to be updated on how our challenge is progressing.
  • “Join” the conversation – ask questions and connect with other innovators in our forum.


Your challenge is to create a solution that provides a young person (16-24 year old) experiencing homelessness (street-present, sleeping rough, couch surfing, in crisis or transitional accommodation) with a successful first step into employment.


This solution can be a service, app, social enterprise, or something completely different.


Some “working aspects” our judging panel will be interested in:

  • Meaningful – allows young people to explore and identify strengths, likes, and transferable skills
  • Flexible – moveable start and finish times
  • On-demand – immediate/same week starts, ability to start and stop as needed

Submissions will include:

  • A catchy name (it can be a brand, slogan, or a headline).
  • A short description of your idea and what it does.
  • A story where you imagine your solution in a specific context and a person/people.
  • A plan on how can it be implemented – who are possible partners, suppliers, what costs etc?

A picture is worth a thousand words, and a video - a thousand pictures. Go crazy and think unique – we love visuals!


Selection of Winner

Solutions will be judged on ability to address or incorporate “Struggles” and “Motivators” (see Overview), “Work Aspects” and submission criteria (four dot points) outlined above. The best idea will be awarded a total of $2,000 (AUD). The winning idea will be selected at the discretion of the Judging Panel. 

*We reserve the right to not award a prize should it be deemed that all submissions insufficiently meet our requirements in addressing the Challenge-Specific Guidelines.  

Registration and Submissions

All teams/individuals must be registered, with entries submitted online before 5pm (AWST +8) on 15 January 2018. No submissions will be accepted after this time. Incomplete submissions will also not be accepted. All submissions must be received online via the Challenge links.

Although we do not envisage any changes to the challenge, any amendments will be publically acknowledged and all registered innovators will be notified. Please visit the challenge pages often, and engage in the site forum!


Prize Money

$2,000 (AUD)


Challenge Updates

Work For Independence Challenge Winner Announcement

Feb. 14, 2018, 6:04 p.m. PST by Anglicare WA

We are proud to announce the winner of our Work For Independence Challenge.

After review by Anglicare WA's Designing for an Independent Future team, the award recipient is:


Team DrawHistory's entry - fruitpactful: Impact in a Box - a social enterprise creating jobs for young people experiencing homelessness through a corporate fruit box delivery service.



Next Steps

Anglicare WA's Work For Independence Challenge on HeroX is just the beginning. In the coming months, our team will be prototyping/testing key tenants of the winning entry. Please follow Anglicare WA's social media channels to stay up-to-date on our team's progress: Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter.


We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the innovators who entered the challenge. Your time and effort was certainly recognised, and we are confident many innovators in this challenge will do great things in the future.


Until we meet again, let's continue our efforts to see all people thrive in the societies they live in.


The Final Countdown

Jan. 10, 2018, 6:57 p.m. PST by Anglicare WA


“Almost all US jobs created between 2005 to 2015 have been temporary, Quartz reports. “Alternative work” accounted for 94% of new jobs during that period — with the biggest increases coming from freelancers, independent contractors, and contract company workers (who work at a business but are paid by an outside firm). The shift could be positive for workers seeking flexibility, Princeton economist Alan Krueger notes, but may spell trouble for the future of full-time, stable positions.”


In Australia, we see a similar shift (see Foundation for Young Australian’s New Work Order report), coupled with the rise of gig economy channels such as Airtasker, Uber and the like. Would this be a way forward for young people experiencing homelessness and how they connect with employment?


Food for thought.


Just over FOUR DAYS until our Work For Independence Challenge closes! Thank you for engaging with the challenge, and for the innovators and teams who have signed up. We have interacted with a number of you and are excited to see what ideas are entered. Also, it's not too late to sign up and enter an idea!

Please be sure to read through our Overview, Guidelines, Updates and Legal Agreement thoroughly before submitting your entry.





Dec. 27, 2017, 12:07 a.m. PST by Anglicare WA

Ideation and How Might We’s go hand in hand. How Might We’s help us identify opportunities for design, and ideation turns these opportunities into practical ideas.

Brainstorming is the most conventional method of coming up with these ideas. Ideas are generally not culled at this stage, and this is where the “yes, and” (indicating no idea is wrong or too far-fetched) mentality is employed.


Here are some examples of D4IF’s ideas that we may possibly select to prototype. We hope these give you good insights into the nature and scale of ideas we are looking for.

Also, it’s getting into the business end of our HeroX challenge, so please get in touch with us if you have any queries!


The Entourage

Establishing a solid first step into employment is daunting. Why not have an amazing squad of people who are invested in your success in doing so?

The Entourage is a group of mentors who have experience and expertise that would help a homeless young person with making those first steps, strong first steps. These include useful connections and networks for suitable employment opportunities, skills in doing up a great resume and developing real-life interview skills, and someone who can help you with your style and how you present to potential employers. Maybe even a shoulder to lean on when things don’t go to plan, as they often do in the difficult world of job hunting.

Interactions and communication can occur via private Facebook groups, or physical catch ups.


Guerilla Jobs

There’s so much buzz around the gig economy right now, with some people deriving almost a full time wage just from what was previously seen as odd jobs. Some gig economy sectors are now incredibly saturated (landscaping, graphic design), whilst others have high start-up and ongoing costs to maintain (Uber driving).

Guerilla Jobs identifies untapped opportunities for job projects (corporations, local councils, you name it), and creates a steady supply of short term, flexible and low risk job opportunities for homeless young people. Going back to our Personas, Alex may experience long periods of high anxiety and fear of rejection. But one morning, he/she might wake up and feel capable to give something a try. It’s incredibly difficult to connect Alex to work at the snap of your fingers, but Guerilla Jobs aims to plug that gap. The job attendees receive on-the-job training, support, and importantly, mentoring.


Social CV

CVs are great, but they don’t capture all aspects of who you are as a person. What CVs capture (work experience, employment duration), are aspects that homeless young people often fair poorly in.

Organisations are moving away from skills-based hiring, to a more values-based approach. We have seen a strong pattern of loyalty, resiliency and empathy in the homeless young people we have worked with. And this is not just coming from us, but from the many individuals and services who work closely with these young people and would definitely vouch for them.

Why not create a style of CV that highlights such!

How Might We...

Dec. 19, 2017, 6:53 p.m. PST by Anglicare WA


"Every problem is an opportunity for design” -


A How Might We (HMW) can be a statement or question. They relate to key problem areas that are experienced by the cohort you are designing for. These problem areas arise from the deep insights gathered through interactions and empathy, and any particular themes and patterns identified.

HMW statements are designed to prompt creativity and provoke unique but meaningful thoughts and ideas. HMWs are nuanced and insightful. They do not elude to a specific solution, but rather, set frames that spark innovative thinking.


The D4IF team has just come out of our sprint week - a week where we analysed the past five months of insights data gathered from homeless young people and service providers in the sector.


We have come up with HMWs, and we hope these help you with creating your entries!


How Might We: Create quick, fun and flexible job opportunities that are low risk for employers and job participants.

How Might We: Leverage rejection for future success

How Might We: Create a “foot in the door” advantage for homeless young people without creating stigma.


As HMWs are anchored to core singiths, they relate to the “Struggles” and “Motivators” listed in the challenge Overview, as well as the “Core Insights” detailed below.

  • A young person’s ability to pursue work can be volatile. For example, anxiety levels and fear of rejection can significantly inhibit a young person in wanting to engage in job seeking.
  • If/when a young person feels able to engage in work activities, this window of time can be a few days, or up to a few weeks. It can be complex to line up a work activity within this timeframe.
  • We all experience fear of rejection to an extent. However, fear of rejection for a homeless young person has roots in minimal/nil network or support structures and significantly traumatic upbringings. Many homeless young people have had histories of 50+ foster care placements just in their teenage years.
  • What does failure mean, and how can we create a safe and supportive way for failure and rejection to occur as a life lesson for homeless young people?
  • For many of us, the first jobs in life came through established connections. Homeless young people do not necessarily have this network of friends or family to help them take their first step towards employment.



Dec. 6, 2017, 1:40 a.m. PST by Anglicare WA

Since July, the Designing for an Independent Future (D4IF) team has been meeting with and supporting homeless young people in Perth, Western Australia. The support has been outreach in nature, typically relating to Vision Casting, Career Planning, Soft Skill development and Job Search and Application assistance. Through these interactions, the D4IF team was able to develop empathetic professional relationships with these young people which have yielded some interesting and deep insights.

We have summarised these insights, and will share them with you as the challenge progresses.

We begin with our Four Personas.

Personas are fictional characters, but embody true emotions and experiences captured from a variety of young people who navigate the system of homelessness and employment.

Personas will assist you as you develop your ideas, to take into consideration the needs and situations of these types of young people.


Each persona is positioned in four points on a 2x2 matrix - motivation and job ready. 

  • Motivation relates to an internal drive to put yourself out there. The "Struggles" and "Motivators" listed in the Overview are factors that affect a homeless young person's level of motivation. 
  • Job Ready refers to previous recognised work experiences and capabilities, resume and interview skills, and professionalism. 



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