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We know that homelessness and rough sleeping in rural areas across England is increasing and housing costs are rising rapidly. Yet outside specialist organisations, rural homelessness remains largely hidden and overlooked.

The Rural Homelessness Counts coalition, led by English Rural, has spent the past year increasing attention and practice on tackling homelessness in rural areas, including publishing a guide with local authorities and the Local Government Association on evidence-based approach to rural rough sleeping.

This year, Homeless Link and English Rural are partnering on a 6-part Community of Practice series, supported by the coalition. Each session will be a reflective space for those working to tackle rural homelessness and rough sleeping to come together to share challenges, promote best practice, and think about new innovative ways to support people sleeping rough and experiencing homelessness more widely. This aims to bring together a diverse range of people working in this space, from homelessness service delivery organisations, to housing associations, local authorities, voluntary groups, and Rural Housing Enablers.

We will hold 6 sessions across the next 6 months. The first two, on July 19th and September 4th, will be an open forum for participants to discuss and agree on what they consider to be the most pressing needs in this space. The further four sessions will be themed around the topics agreed in sessions one and two, and will include speakers and the space to discuss and share practice development ideas and resources. We will produce resources at the end of this process to support local efforts to end rural homelessness for good.

Book your free place for CoP session 1