Trading Places to Tackle Homelessness

Wednesday, 30 April 2014 - 12:33pm

This summer UK and US homelessness professionals will be trading places to learn about tackling homelessness across the Atlantic. 

Follow the journey on-line #HomelessLearning
Follow the journey on-line #HomelessLearning

Both the United States and United Kingdom are dealing with significant levels of homelessness. However, while it is clear that we face many of the same problems, do we choose to tackle them in the same ways?

This summer, perhaps we’ll begin to answer that, when homelessness professionals from both countries trade places to see what they can learn from each other.

The Transatlantic Practice Exchange - delivered in partnership with National Alliance to End Homelessness and funded by the Oak Foundation – will give charity staff an opportunity to learn directly from frontline services in this host countries.

Who is going?

Ten people are taking part, following a competitive application and interview process.

Each person has been matched with a host organisation and will focus on a specific area of practice that can inform their work. After the placement they’ll look for ways to use this learning in their own organisation, as well as sharing their ideas and experience more widely.

From the UK:

  • Mark Choonara – The Passage, London. Mark will visit HomeStart in Boston to see their Housing First and Stabilisation projects, with a focus on resettlement and the prevention of repeat homelessness.
  • Ben McDonnell – No Second Night Out, London. Ben will look at permanent supportive housing for people with complex needs during his placement with SHNNY in New York.
  • David Orton – Look Ahead, London. David will visit Hearth in Boston to learn from services specifically tailored to meet the needs of older people experiencing homelessness.
  • Jo Prestidge –  St Mungo’s Broadway, London. Jo will work with CUCS New York to see how they use a Trauma Informed Care approach in street outreach, and explore how this might relate to working with long term street homeless clients.
  • Dorota Strzelecka – Two Saints, Havant. Will be hosted by Downtown Emergency Services Centre in Seattle, where she’ll focus on the benefits of offering permanent supportive housing for people with dual diagnosis.

From the US:

  • Adrienne Breidenstine – Journey Home, Baltimore. Adrienne leads on Baltimore’s plan to end homelessness. She’ll be hosted by JustLife in Brighton to learn about hospital discharge projects and their impact on readmissions.
  • Elizabeth Eastlund – Rainbow Services, Los Angeles. From her background working with survivors of domestic violence, Elizabeth will be hosted by Thames Reach in London to explore how the Psychologically Informed Environments (PIE) approach can inform her work.
  • Megan Gibbard – King County, Washington. Megan leads on ending youth homelessness in her area and will be hosted by De Paul in London. She is focusing on the Nightstop hosting scheme, youth leadership group and family reunification.
  • Aubrey Patiño - Avalon Housing, Ann Arbor, Michigan. Aubrey’s placement is with the Chronically Excluded Adult team at Cambridgeshire County Council to learn about the MEAM approach, with a particular focus on health.
  • Deanna Villanueva – Carpenter’s Shelter, Washington DC. Deanna has started her placement with St Mungo’s Broadway to find out how No Second Night Out offers a rapid response to rough sleeping in London.

Follow them

The first participant arrives in the UK this week and they will be sharing their experiences as they go via social media. And we've set up the #HomelessLearning #tagboard so you can follow them.

We’d particularly like to thank the ten host organisations who have volunteered their time to support participants. Without them, the question of what we could learn from each other would remain unanswered.

Talk To Us

Tasmin Maitland

Assistant Director, Practice and Partnerships

Tasmin leads our Innovation & Good Practice and Partnerships teams. Current team projects include: Communities of Practice, Ending Women's Homelessness Fund, Housing First Fund, London PLUS, Youth Homelessness, Housing First England, Reboot, Counts & Estimates, and our effective practice guidance and toolkits.

Telephone: 020 7840 4451
Twitter: @Tasmin_IGP