How we talk about homelessness matters – explore how framing can help us tell a new story

Thursday, 29 October 2020 - 12:01pm

To end homelessness for good, a powerful new big idea must replace old notions of bad choices and inevitability. The Framing Homelessness Project represents the next phase of a major initiative to bring about a fundamental shift in the way homelessness is talked about across the UK. 

Next workshops: 

Workshop 1: Monday 16 November, 2pm
Workshop 2: Tuesday 17 November, 10am

Delivered in collaboration with the FrameWorks Institute, the first two phases laid the groundwork through in-depth research to understand what the public really thinks about homelessness and set out how communicators, campaigners, and experts can shift their communications on homelessness to build public support and political commitment to end homelessness. 

The research found that the public finds it difficult to understand that homelessness is preventable - that it is caused by systemic pressures and can be ended by systemic solutions. Instead, current thinking is about individual fault and is fatalistic, is narrowly centred on rough sleeping, and is often highly ‘othering’ towards people facing homelessness.

Crucially, the evidence shows us this thinking can be changed if we use tested values and metaphors frames in stories about homelessness.

This next stage of the Framing Homelessness Project will focus on supporting and encouraging joined-up strategic communications in collaboration with the homelessness sector across policy, campaigns, media, marketing and fundraising channels. Over the next four years, Crisis will lead the project in partnership with Homeless Link, Homeless Action Scotland and Cymorth Cymru. The Framing Homelessness Project is funded by Comic Relief.

Over the last few months, we’ve created a new Talking about homelessness: introduction to framing video series.

If you or someone you know would like a practical introduction to framing homelessness – read on…

Filmed during lockdown, The FrameWorks Institute has converted its intensive introduction to framing homelessness workshop into a series of short training videos. The videos are accompanied by our new Framing Homelessness Toolkit.

These resources are now published on the Crisis website, freely available for anyone to work through at their own pace, when it suits them. Please do take a look, and encourage your teams, colleagues and partners to explore these new framing resources.

The more we can repeat and expand upon a new story about homelessness, the better our chance of changing hearts and minds, and building public support and political will to end it. So please, dive straight in!

If you would like to know more about the Framing Homelessness Project or get involved, please contact me:

Catherine Ashford (Strategic Communications Project Manager, Crisis)

Invitation to book a space - Talking about Homelessness online workshops

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Catherine Ashford

Strategic Communications Project Manager at Crisis

Catherine Ashford is the Strategic Communications Project Manager at Crisis