There are many organisations and groups working in the homelessness sector, from local authorities and commissioned charities to small faith-based community groups and grassroots activists.
To get the best results for people who are homeless, effective joint working is essential, but too often this is easier said than done. Disparate groups have different ways of working, different funding and resources and, often, different aims and values. The language we use to describe our work, the way we talk about and with people who are homeless, and our definitions of success can all vary greatly. When we encounter these differences, working relationships may break down or fail to develop in the first place. Yet the power of an effective multi-agency response is huge.
Collaboration can ensure best use of resources (of all kinds – funding, volunteers, buildings, local intelligence etc), avoiding duplication and working to the strengths of each organisation. Joint working can help to achieve systems change, to co-produce services, and to improve the skills and motivation of your teams. It is worth spending time getting it right, and that means taking action when it’s going wrong.
This document sets out a range of steps to help you set up or review your local multi-agency meetings and structures. We hope it will help you to improve joint working locally.