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The Rural Homelessness Counts Coalition is proud to mark its one-year anniversary during Rural Housing Week 2024. Over the past year, the coalition has made significant strides in raising awareness about the hidden crisis of rural homelessness in England and developing innovative solutions to address this pressing issue.

In partnership with Homeless Link the coalition is excited to announce the launch of a new Rural Homelessness Community of Practice. This six-part series will bring together a diverse range of individuals working to tackle rural homelessness and rough sleeping, providing a platform for sharing challenges, promoting best practices, and exploring innovative ways to support those experiencing homelessness in rural communities.

"The Rural Homelessness Counts Coalition has been instrumental in shining a light on the often-overlooked issue of rural homelessness," said Rory Weal, Chair of the coalition. "Over the past year, we have made significant progress in raising awareness, developing solutions, and fostering partnerships to ensure that everyone, regardless of their location, has access to safe and affordable housing. We are thrilled to be partnering with Homeless Link to launch the Rural Homelessness Community of Practice, which will further our mission to end rural homelessness for good."

Since its establishment, the Rural Homelessness Counts Coalition has achieved several notable milestones, including:

  • Collaborating with the Centre for Homelessness Impact (CHI) to develop a new collection of images and stories of rural homelessness
  • Supporting the roll-out and awareness of the rural rough sleeping guide with the Local Government Association (LGA), which is being used by local authorities across the country
  • Designing a feasibility study into rural Housing First in partnership with Commonweal Housing and Porchlight

The coalition remains committed to making rural homelessness a priority for the next government and will continue to emphasise the importance of tackling the rural housing and homelessness crisis in the lead-up to the election and during Rural Housing Week.

"We are incredibly grateful for the support and dedication of our members and partners over the past year," added Weal. "Together, we have made significant progress in raising awareness of the problem and solutions to rural homelessness, but we know there is still much work to be done. We invite all those passionate about ending homelessness to join us in our mission and help us create lasting change for rural communities across England."

To learn more about the Rural Homelessness Counts Coalition and how you can get involved, please visit: https://englishrural.org.uk/about-us/research/rural-homelessness-counts-coalition/

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Viv Griffiths

National Practice Development Project Manager