Going forward: making sense of homelessness


Going forward: making sense of homelessness

At Homeless Action Scotland we are about to embark on a programme of work where we will use our expertise to try to help people across Scotland have a better understanding of homelessness.

We won’t be starting this journey alone and will be getting support from experts within the homelessness sector, including front line workers. We will be having discussions and providing information about services which aren’t necessarily within the homeless sector but still work with homeless people. There will be information from the latest academic research both within and outwith Scotland. And perhaps most importantly we will be talking to and supporting those with lived experience to get their views across. We don’t care if you are a rough sleeper or a CEO, your knowledge and experience of homelessness is equally valued. We won’t just be educating others we will be educating ourselves on this journey.

We are creating a section on our website for people who find themselves homeless so that that can better understand what it means, and what they can do about getting the support they need. We will create a guide which helps people better understand what homelessness is so that people are not only aware of their rights but also of their obligations. Many people are homeless and don’t know that they are, many people think they are homeless but they may not be: we want to help people improve their understanding of what their rights are, including what to do when it seems as though those rights are not being upheld.

We will create a section for practitioners who work within homelessness and its related fields so that they can easily keep up-to-date with the most relevant research, policy changes and legislation. We know that those who work in homelessness and related sectors often have workloads that make it difficult to keep abreast of the most recent changes to legislation and policy so we want to help out by having a page section on our website dedicated to this type of information.

We also know that this is not the type of project to be done alone: we welcome the input of organisations, workers and individuals who have faced homelessness. There’s a wealth of expertise, innovation and amazing practice carried out within the sector that’s not always discussed or shared with colleagues in other parts of the country. We know that this isn’t because people choose not to network or share information but because homeless departments and voluntary sector colleagues don’t always have the time to network as they would like. We will be the organisation that bridges this gap and brings together the best practice across Scotland so that we can all benefit and start to reduce homelessness in Scotland.

Lastly, we want to support people who have been through the homeless system or who have been close to becoming homeless themselves find their voice in the world of policy. We want to learn from those who have been through the system: how can the system be improved, and what can we do to ensure we don’t fall back into ineffective ways of working? We believe firmly in the idea that “nothing about us without us is for us” so will be putting our money where our mouths are when it comes to inclusion and valued collaboration. We may have ideas around what we think should happen but these count for nothing without the lived experience of those who have been through the system.

This is an exciting new chapter that Homeless Action Scotland are working towards, and we hope that you will join us.

We want to continue to #takeactiononhomelessness  – and if that’s something you want to be part of, then get in touch.