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Over the last decade research shows a 52% increase in rough sleeping across England. The issues around the growth in homelessness are complex and multifaceted, highlighting the need for diverse interventions to address the different barriers, challenges and systemic failures within our society to better support those in need. 

For the last 24 months Homeless Link has been involved in a programme funded by Access, the foundation for social investment, to look at the role of enterprise for homeless charities to diversify income and in turn, provide opportunities for beneficiaries to access training and employment. 

Homeless Link’s programme has worked with in excess of 80 organisations spread across the country. The programme includes learning, grants and a peer support network and have met with and supported many others over this time.

Working with a varied portfolio of charities, social entrepreneurs and enterprise models, Homeless Link is looking to share our key learning from this project with the wider sector. We hope to shed light on the existing models, the relationship between income and impact and offer some insight into the realities of trading as a tool for ending homelessness. 

Murphy Hopkins-Hubbard, Enterprise and Investment Manager at Homeless Link and Simon Pickering, Associate Consultant both work on this programme and have come together to develop the podcast as an accessible platform to promote the role of social enterprise in the homeless sector.

Each episode of the podcast is hosted by Murphy and Simon and includes a guest social entrepreneur working in the sector to share their stories and experiences. The podcast purposefully focuses on sharing the realities of starting a social enterprise that supports those who are homeless or in recovery from homelessness. 

This Much We Know has relatable content throughout and we hope that it will inspire other entrepreneurs and homeless sector leaders to consider what role social enterprise has in supporting individuals to move on from homelessness.

Simon said: “It’s honestly been a real privilege to work on this podcast: I fundamentally believe a huge range of approaches is needed to solve the homelessness situation in the UK. Social enterprise is one of the sharpest tools we have. Our guests were brilliantly open and shared some great stuff, especially a number of young social entrepreneurs who brought huge insight on what they have learnt in this difficult sector so far.”

The TMWK podcast will release one episode a week and can be found on the This Much We Know page, on Spotify, and Apple Podcasts, and you can listen to Episode 1 with Fat Macy's, at the bottom of this page.

Follow the podcast on Twitter @ThisMuch_WeKnow or email Simon and Murphy for more information: thismuchweknow@homelesslink.org.uk If you’d like to come on the podcast as guest we’d love to hear from you, we would like to include more episodes from individuals with lived experience who have benefitted from training or employment within a homelessness social enterprise.