Claire Frew, Policy & Impact Manager at the Homeless Network blogs ahead of the Annual Homelessness Conference 2018

During the winter of 2017-18 more than 400 people affected by homelessness took the time to share their priorities for ending homelessness in Scotland. These were people willing to share their stories and experiences to help us cut to the chase about what needs to change.

One of the words that came up most commonly through the discussions was ‘stuck’. 

People feeling stuck between services that don’t always talk to each other.  Stuck between sectors that can feel like they are working to different aims and principles. Stuck in temporary places or the same difficult situation – moving around rather than out, and too often moving backwards.

And all of this despite engaging with services and supports – despite explaining their situations and seeking assistance from a range of professional services.  People told us they told someone but it was the ‘wrong person’ – and if you speak to the wrong person then not much happens.

And when you have the same conversation with frontline staff it is not unusual to find that their frustrations are the same as people using their services, with staff talking in terms of needing better communication and collaboration.

People may be using different words but are ultimately talking about the same thing.

The Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Action Group took people’s feedback on board and made a series of recommendations around the principle of No Wrong Door.  An approach built on quickly and easily finding the right door at the right time for the right help.

The No Wrong Door conference in Glasgow next week will bring together more than 200 experts to learn more about what the approach means for our policies and frontline practice; considering important questions about what it means for our own organisations as well as those we work alongside.  The conference will make the space for vital conversations to make sure that we don’t just adopt the language of No Wrong Door but embed the principles in everything we do. 

There will also be a special announcement and a roundtable challenge! We look forward to welcoming you to this major conference to take the next step in reshaping how we prevent and respond to homelessness. If you can’t join us in person, take part on twitter at #NoWrongDoor18