Meaningful occupation and activities can give homeless people something positive to do with the aim of building their self esteem, developing their skills and building social networks away from the streets. Activities are also important in in preventing the boredom that may lead people to turn back to the streets, or to alcohol or drugs.
Although the ultimate aim for many people will be paid employment, for others pre-vocational lifeskills training and confidence-building activities can help encourage them to develop healthier lifestyles. Meaningful occupation and activities can be just as vital when homeless people have been rehoused in their own accommodation, when isolation and boredom can be most acute. There is rarely a clear dividing line between meaningful occupation and education, training and employment activities.
Through our own work and the learning gathered from sports, arts and other activities projects, Homeless Link has developed a five-step Planning Activities Pathway to support staff looking to start, develop, improve and perfect their activities delivery. In every phase of this pathway it is key that clients be engaged and motivated to lead and take part in these activities.
The five areas are outlined in the sections below: Consulting, Scoping, Resourcing, Launching and Reviewing. We also cover some of the Key Principles that lead to successful activities projects and some case studies to inspire and inform your delivery. Homeless Link ran two webinars which give further training and information on using the Planning Activities Pathway in your service.