Strengthening services

Homeless Link strengthen's services in a number of ways.  We share on the ground experiences and support services to turn national policy into local and practical solutions.  We support agencies to improve their services and ensure that their staff and managers are well trained and responsive.  We are also a resource for helping agencies to respond to changing external circumstances as well as sharing knowledge as it relates to practice.

Our role is to be a balance between supporting agencies in the challenges they face today and helping them to respond to the changes that will come tomorrow. This includes the way services are run, commissioned and the way contract monitoring takes place. Our overall aim is to ensure homeless people have access to the best possible services and that they are involved in developing and improving those services.

WORKING WITH SERVICES

Our members act as an early warning system. Our work on Move on, Central and Eastern Europeans and Health is based on listening to our members when they reported difficulties. Our approach is always to find out more and then combine lobbying and policy work with practical information and resources that can help the day to day work of homelessness services. Our team in the regions provide on the ground support to agencies and to local commissioners. They act as the ‘link’ between policy and practice and are a gateway to knowledge, resources and contacts for the homelessness sector. Our Innovation and Good Practice team both capture innovative new developments and act as a resource for agencies about how they deliver services. They provide resources such as handbooks and toolkits and develop practice focused solutions to the problems agencies face in their day to day work.

CURRENT PROJECTS

We recognise that organisations have different needs, so our approach is flexible and pragmatic. Where possible, we help organisations learn from the experience of others by arranging visits and networking sessions. Some of our current projects include:

  • support to agencies seeking to become Places of Change
  • Evictions and abandonments, a research project to help agencies reduce evictions and tenancy abandonments from hostels
  • provide resources and support for agencies to monitor and report their impact through the Outcomes programme
  • support to day centres to develop their services through access to information, resources, peer networks and direct support

CELEBRATING SUCCESS

We also showcase the work of homelessness organisations and just as importantly seek to demonstrate that people who are homeless can move on with their lives and contribute to society. The Michael Whippman Award is an award scheme that focuses on the achievements of homeless people.  Our involvement with the Key Garden at the 2009 Chelsea Flower Show resulted in over 100 homeless people involved in constructing an award winning garden and interacting directly with the public to explain what the message behind the project was.