Men and women tend to both become and experience homelessness in different ways. This difference is reflected in the support they need. We know homelessness services are doing their very best to support a diverse range of people. But funding streams and stretched budgets can make it difficult to mould practice to better fit women’s needs. At the same time, in the world of competitive tendering, services need to demonstrate their effectiveness. If the majority of people accessing support are men, then it makes business sense to focus support towards them. This then reproduces a system that doesn’t properly represent women’s needs.
To help alter this picture, Homeless Link is seeking to build on its recent report into the Impacts and Insights of our Ending Women’s Homelessness Fund through piloting a new programme with six distinct teams within mixed-sex homelessness services who want to become more gender informed. The experiences of the six services involved will then play a key role in Homeless Link’s plan to develop a new toolkit to help gender inform services across the country to better support women experiencing homelessness. Please note, the pilot is only for England based services.
The pilot will follow Homeless Link’s five key principles for effective working with women, which are underpinned by gender and trauma informed approaches. They have been developed based on evidence and learning from the Ending Women’s Homelessness Fund.
The pilot will for last six months, and teams involved will spend a month focusing on one principle at a time. I will keep in regular contact with each service along the way, capturing learning and reflections and supporting them to utilise the information to embed it in their everyday practice.
We will then invite representatives from each team to attend six cross-pilot discussion forums to reflect and share learnings with others, with organisations involved being credited for their contributions in the final toolkit.
So, if you are english based mixed-sex homeless service and want free expert support to help your organisation better engage and support women who experience homelessness, while also contributing to a toolkit which will hopefully provide inspiration for other mixed-sex services across the country, then please register your interest by filling in the linked form, before Monday 14th February at 5pm.
If you would like a bit more information before applying, then please don’t hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We will let you know if your expression of interest has been successful by Tuesday 1st March.
The goal of ending women’s homelessness will require a broad and powerful movement. Thank you for considering joining us on this journey.