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People First

We believe that homelessness is a temporary state rather than a permanent condition.

It is vital that individuals experiencing homelessness are given the right support to meet their needs and aspirations and improve wellbeing. This applies to everyone but particular groups face specific challenges.

Our People First strategy

People First is a key tenet of our Shaping the Future Together strategy and it will be delivered by:

Developing tools and resources to support people experiencing homelessness into a wide range of employment, volunteering and life skills training opportunities

Increasing our support for activities that encourage wellbeing, self-expression and empowerment, in particular by promoting community-based solutions based on individual needs and wants

Ensuring that the key role faith-based and non-commissioned community organisations can play in supporting people out of homelessness is fully recognised and acknowledged, both locally and nationally

Championing Equalities, Diversity and Inclusion both in our own work and across the sector, ensuring that the diverse needs of people experiencing homelessness are identified and met in the most appropriate ways

Ensuring the specific needs of women and young people experiencing or at risk of homelessness are recognised in both policy and practice, including in local commissioning arrangements and national strategies

Continuing our work as part of the Making Every Adult Matter (MEAM) coalition to improve the way that services across different sectors support people facing multiple disadvantage and create long-term changes to local and national systems

Identifying and promoting policy and practice approaches that effectively meet the housing, support and advice needs of non-UK citizens who are homeless and those with no recourse to public funds

Ending women's homelessness

Women are disproportionately affected by homelessness, but their homelessness is less visible and therefore does not receive the necessary attention.

Women make up 60% of adults in temporary accommodation. While women are recorded to make up a small proportion of those rough sleeping, because women are less prone to sleeping in visible locations (for their safety among other reasons)it is unlikely that this is an accurate reflection of the extent of women's homelessness. Women who occupy refuges are also not recorded in official statistics, despite being homeless.

Funded by Garfield Weston, our 'Ending Women's Homelessness Project (EWHP) aims to focus attention on the needs of women who are homeless. Following on from the work of the Ending Women's homelessness Fund (EWHF) our work is dedicated to supporting the sector to develop and innovate effective gender informed support for women experiencing homelessness.

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Supporting young people

Young people experiencing homelessness are one of the most vulnerable groups in society. They have distinct needs from adults: their pathways into homelessness, experiences while homeless and exits out of homelessness are different for young people, and therefore solutions need to be youth focussed.

Our youth work focuses on:

- Improving young people’s pathways to support

- Supporting services to meet the distinct needs of young people

- Raising the profile of youth homelessness.

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Portrait - Person in Glasses

Supporting Non-UK Nationals

European nationals form a significant part of the UK homeless population.

We have developed a range of resources and training courses to equip homelessness services with the information and expertise to meet the needs of Non-UK Nationals.

This includes a free training programme we created with Praxis, supported by the Mayor of London, with online training, bitesize recordings, tailored workshops and an online community and advice service.

Supporting People of Colour

People of Colour are disproportionately affected across the homelessness sector, they face barriers such as a lack of inclusion and forms of discrimination when accessing services.


Our Non-UK Nationals work (above) often highlights the challenges of racial discrimination. Although we are not actively commissioning any work solely around the challenges faced by People of Colour, we continue to highlight the excellent work being done by organisations, including some of our members, that is currently underway. For example:

  • This research report from Herriot Watt University on homelessness amongst black and ethnic minoritised communities
  • This blog on the invisibility of Black women who experience homelessness.
  • This celebration of the work of our members.
  • This blog about the BME Housing Sector

We also have a training course for homelessness staff on ‘Race, ethnicity and experiences of homelessness’ which challenges unconscious biases and understanding of issues and helps support and promote best working practices in services.

Supporting LGBTQI+ people

Service providers are not always aware of the sexuality or gender identity of the people they support, and might not understand their needs.

As a result, LGBTQI+ individuals can struggle to get the right support, delaying their progression out of homelessness and increasing the risk of further disadvantage or exclusion. We have worked with partners such as the Outside Project and akt to develop guidance and resource of services supporting LGBTQI+ people.