The 2018 UK group share good practice and learning about coordinated entry, rural homelessness, legislative theatre, multi-disciplinary outreach teams, and peer leadership. Our US colleagues, hosted in England and Wales, explore co-production, coordinated approaches, arts, veterans' services, and homelessness prevention.
What did we discover in the final Transatlantic Practice Exchange?
During a time when homelessness and rough sleeping is high on the public and political agenda, five intrepid explorers from frontline homelessness services crossed the Atlantic for the fourth and final Transatlantic Practice Exchange.
Their mission was to find new approaches and reflect on existing provision, saw them journey to New York, Washington State, Connecticut and Vermont to experience, and learn about, a range of practices. There’s something for everyone in their recently published reports and we’re grateful to our US partner, the National Alliance to End Homelessness, for finding another excellent group of hosts this year.
Local authorities may be interested in Rachel Woolf’s piece on how coordinated entry systems effectively manage referrals and provision, while policymakers can read Flora Newbigin on Legislative Theatre – a creative approach to engaging experts by experience in decision making.
Ed Addison’s report on multi-disciplinary outreach highlights the importance of recruiting people with lived experience to promote recovery. Similarly, you’ll find Steven Barkess’ report on peer specialist and peer leadership roles really interesting: ridding services of tokenistic peer involvement for good!
Good practice in addressing rural homelessness
For the first time, a participant also focused on good practice in addressing rural homelessness. Rachel Inman’s report on challenges and innovation relating to Housing First in rural Vermont provides useful insight into a type of homelessness many of us know little about.
And if all that learning isn’t enough, there are reports from our five US participants reflecting on time they spent with service providers in Exeter, Stoke, Manchester, London and Swansea. These reports explore how coordinated approaches, coproduction, arts and veterans’ services are addressing homelessness in England, and how new homelessness legislation has been implemented in Wales.
So, after four years and 40 participants, a range of topics and hosts, our thanks go to the Oak Foundation for making this all possible. Not only has this project developed an understanding of the challenges and solutions to addressing homelessness internationally, but it’s provided frontline practitioners the opportunity to develop new skills to become strong leaders for the future.
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Head of National Practice Development
Jo is Head of National Practice Development at Homeless Link.
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