GHN responded to the Scottish Parliament’s Call for Evidence on Homelessness. Our key points are:

  • Every case of homelessness in Scotland is an emergency. We need to change and simplify our overly-complex homelessness system to respond with urgency;
  • The local authority-led ‘Housing Options’ approach is making strides and provides the ideal foundation for building further change;
  • Scaling up the ‘Housing First’ rapid rehousing model is the practical change needed for people sleeping rough and facing multiple disadvantage.

And bring forward:

  • The housing activists and commentators, who should never stop asking difficult questions. People care about homelessness, and we need their fresh perspective;
  • The unique insight of people with lived experience of homelessness who are allies in the fight against homelessness in Scotland.

You can read our full response here

Friday 10th March 2017 1.30pm – 3.30pm
Glasgow Homelessness Network, Unit 16a, The Adelphi Centre, 12 Commercial Road, Glasgow G5 0PQ

Homeless World Cup Glasgow Legacy Project – Download a Programme  (PDF)

On behalf of Glasgow Life, Social Marketing Gateway will present Phase 1 of their evaluation of the Volunteer Programme Element of the Homeless World Cup Legacy Project. Your feedback on their findings and your thoughts as to the shape of the second phase of the evaluation of the Project, and of its impacts on Volunteers, will be welcomed. People using services who are already taking part in the Homeless World Cup Legacy Programme would be especially welcome. Please note that an individual must already be part of the Legacy Programme.

Contact Janice to book a place. Please let us know of you have any additional requirements:
Call 0141 420 7272
Text 07834 437 185
E-mail janice@ghn.org.uk

PRESS RELEASE

Published:

Minister backs charities’ call to create new impact centre to improve how homelessness is prevented and tackled in Scotland 

 

The Scottish Minister for Local Government and Housing Kevin Stewart  MSP has backed Crisis and Glasgow Homelessness Network’s (GHN) call for a new sector led centre to tackle homelessness through evidence-based solutions.

The proposed new centre will build on Scotland’s international reputation for preventing and tackling homelessness, and will ensure ‘greater strides towards a future without homelessness’.

The Minister announced his support as a report, Ending homelessness faster by focusing on ‘what works’(PDF), was published today. Based on consultations with more than 200 experts, including people with experience of homelessness, the report recommends a new ‘Centre for Homelessness Impact’, which would ‘unite organisations in building the infrastructure needed to work towards a future without homelessness’.

Crucially, the report emphasizes the importance of raising awareness of generating and using evidence and data to make better, more grounded decisions about our practices and interventions.

Funding is now being sought for the project with a view to opening the centre later this year.

 

Recommendations of report include:

  • A new institution that is sector led and owned which champions and rewards the uses of evidence in policy and practice
  • Build an evidence base about the behaviours, practices, policies and programmes that achieve the most effective – as opposed to most efficient – results
  • Mobilise a strong cross-sector coalition of leaders committed to an ‘invest in what works’ policy agenda
  • Empower people with diverse experiences of homelessness to be part of the work and approach.

 

Kevin Stewart, MSP, Minister for Local Government and Housing, said:

“I believe a strong robust evidence base is critical to developing and implementing effective policy. A central source and knowledge on homelessness, such as the Centre of Homelessness Impact can help inform the decisions of the Scottish Government and its partners and contribute to improving outcomes for people experiencing homelessness in Scotland.”

Margaret-Ann Brunjes, Director of Glasgow Homelessness Network, said:

“This is an ambitious vision and a refusal to accept that we can’t all do more to end homelessness in Scotland. This new Centre will give us the clearest pointers on how to prevent homelessness and improve the lives of people affected by it. In a time of reduced budgets, the Centre can instigate a shift of resources to evidence based solutions – because doing more of what works, means less of what doesn’t. We owe that to those braving the challenges of homelessness in Scotland today – people that we’ve also got alongside to guide and ground this work.”

Jon Sparkes, Chief Executive of Crisis, said:

“Internationally, Scotland is seen by many as a leading light in the support of people affected by homelessness. But despite this, too many people remain without a home. The new Centre will help ensure that our values aren’t only articulated in our efforts and intentions but in our outcomes. If we can bridge the gap between knowing what needs to be done and effecting change on the ground, then we can make great leaps in the results we get from our work and investments.”

 

ENDS
For further information call 020 7426 3891 or email eleanor.radford@crisis.org.uk. For out of hours media enquiries please call: 07973 372587

 

 

 

 

 

The Scottish Homelessness Involvement and Empowerment Network (SHIEN) has been facilitated by Glasgow Homelessness Network (GHN) since 2008 thanks to funding from the Scottish Government. It was established to promote involvement, participation and more recently coproduction, within homelessness services across Scotland; supporting us all to get better at supporting homeless people to become involved in shaping the decisions and practices that affect them.

We knew that there was lots of excellent activity in services across the country and for the past 8 years SHIEN has provided opportunities for this to be shared and for us all to learn and continually improve what we do. We have achieved this through delivering conferences and events all across Scotland bringing together people who live and work with homelessness to discuss challenges and find solutions around involvement and participation. We are also in touch with over 1,800 cross sector subscribers through our regular newsletters and updates on our website.

We’ve spent some time lately trying to reflect on our collective learning over the past 8 years based on all of the debates and discussions we have had, and here is what we think we know!

  • Unique Insights: we all have a tendency to favour certain voices at times, making some more important than others. Coproduction challenges us to bring everyone around the table to share their insights – people with lived experience, academics, professionals working in the sector, community members – and recognising that everyone’s perspective is equally important. It may sound like common sense, but traditional power dynamics often mean that we prioritise certain insights over others (often those of the person providing funding!) rather than us collectively agreeing what is important.

 

  • Different Perspectives: it’s amazing how we can all see what we think is the same thing in an entirely different way! And even more amazing that in our own way we can all be ‘right’ even if we are saying different things! We’re all involved in trying to tackle homelessness for positive reasons, but not understanding the realities, motivations and pressures faced by people with different roles (including different legal duties and responsibilities) often makes coproduction challenging. When embarking on coproduction, any time spent on building a shared understanding of different perspectives, realities and pressures (and why they sometimes need to be different) will always be time well spent.

 

  • Empowering Environments: creating empowering environments is one of the most important things we can do to try to challenge the existing power dynamics that can stop us recognising everyone’s unique insights. We achieve more success when we create an environment that makes it as easy as possible for a person to develop the skills, knowledge and experience that leads to them feeling empowered. This can include things like choosing a venue that is accessible to people, making clear in advance what people can expect and what is expected of them, avoiding jargon and official language that people often don’t understand, always giving everyone the opportunity to share their views and for everyone to ask questions. This builds confidence, self-esteem and creates a framework through which people can get involved at the level they would like to.

 

  • Start where you are: one of the most common questions asked is about when to start involving people, when is too early or too late? Our view is keep it simple and start where you are! If you’re at the very beginning of a process then great, involve people then. If not, don’t worry about waiting until the start of something else, begin now and learn as you go. Any involvement is better than no involvement as long as we learn and keep building participation and coproduction into the way we work.

 

We think Samuel Beckett pretty much summed it up:

“Ever tried. Ever failed.

No matter.

Try Again. Fail again.

Fail better.”

Contact SHIEN

When young people are affected by homelessness (PDF)

Working with the North East Glasgow Health Improvement Team and GHN, 20 young people living in emergency and settled supported accommodation have helped develop a resource for staff working in schools and youth services to help tackle the subject with the young people they work with.

The resource contains group exercises, a case study, and further information sources.

We aim to develop an online, interactive version of the resource, accompanied by staff training in the near future.

If you would like to find out more about the project, please contact Pauline at pmccolgan@ghn.org.uk or on 0141 420 7272

Thank you to the staff and participants at Quarriers and Queens Cross Housing Association for contributing to the resource.

 

25 October 2016

In a context where a number of Scottish local authorities report increasing levels of rough sleeping and/or begging, this event provides a forum for stakeholders to reflect on the opportunities, challenges and dilemmas associated with responses containing elements of ‘enforcement’ (e.g. byelaws, ASBOs) and/or ‘interventionism’ (e.g. assertive outreach). Using the interim findings of a major study of welfare conditionality in Scotland and England as a starting point, this event aims to promote an open and constructive debate about the rationale used to justify and/or oppose such measures, what is known about outcomes, and the complex practical and ethical issues associated with their use.

Presentations

Sarah Johnsen 
The Institute for Social Policy, Housing, Environment and Real Estate (ISPHERE)| Heriot-Watt University
Interventionist responses to rough sleeping and begging: controversies, opportunities and challenges (PDF)

Jeremy Swain
Thames Reach
Why not using enforcement and assertive outreach is a high risk strategy (PDF)

Margaret Ann Brunjes
Glasgow Homelessness Network
Inconsistency and *Saying the Wrong Things* (PDF)

 

 

Homelessness in Glasgow 2016 Survey Report

Published:

Working with colleagues from across the homelessness sector (both those who work in services and those who use them) we set out to find out about what is good about homelessness services in Glasgow, what could be made better and how that should happen. To do this, we co-produced a survey with 7 questions which was distributed throughout all commissioned homelessness services in Glasgow the results of which can be found in this report. (PDF)

At the end of the survey we asked people about other ways in which they would like to be involved in participation work. This led us to the development of a homelessness conversation café, a focus group which informed the tender process for housing support services in Glasgow and the creation of two participation networks, one made up of people who are currently using homelessness services and one of those working in services. This work will be continuing through the co-production of further opportunities to influence homelessness service design and delivery so if you are interested in finding out more or getting involved in these networks then please contact David Kidd at dkidd@ghn.org.uk or by phone on 0141 420 7272.