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Spring Housing Association: Being missed or missing out: where next for women and 'rough sleeping'?

Spring Housing Association: Being missed or missing out: where next for women and 'rough sleeping'?

Spring Housing Association: Being missed or missing out: where next for women and 'rough sleeping'?

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

An online event for organisations to share knowledge and learning, raise awareness, and collectively create the change we want to see.

10:00 – 14:00, Wed 10 November 2021

Register via Eventbrite

Rough sleeping, and the policy and funding priority to reduce visible homelessness has been a clear priority of the current and previous Conservative governments. Whilst in no way underestimating or underplaying the scale of the injustices that create our rough sleeping ‘crisis’, this focus leaves us with an unanswered question: what does the prioritisation on ‘rough sleeping’ in its most traditional or visible manifestations mean for women?

The unprecedented response to rough sleeping brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic – ‘Everyone In’ – has arguably shown us two things. Firstly, that rough sleeping and wider homelessness can be reduced by targeted policy and investment, and, secondly, that the required understanding and responses to women’s needs are still lacking.

Both the Local Government Association report, Lessons Learnt from Councils’ Response to Rough Sleeping During the COVID-19 Pandemic (November, 2020), and The Kerslake Commission on Rough Sleeping Final Report (September 2021) highlight how attempts to cater for the needs of women have been less effective. They show what most of us working in the sector already know: that there is an absence of strategy, planning and intelligence around women’s patterns of ‘rough sleeping’ and precarious housing and insufficient attention to, and specialist provision for, women who require both emergency and longer-term accommodation.

The first, in what will be a series of events, will seek to interrogate and challenge ‘traditional’ ways of looking at and engaging with ‘rough sleeping.’ It will consider the way ‘rough sleeping’ is characterised, counted, and operationalised and how this can affect women. It will shine a light on the work being done by organisations in the sector to create and deliver specialist women-centred responses, and consider how women experiencing ‘multiple disadvantage’ and homelessness are currently being catered for.

Areas that will be addressed include evidence and good practice around:

  • ‘Multiple disadvantage homelessness’ and how this can intersect with traditional notions of 'rough sleeping'
  • Issues around gender and trauma informed support and outreach models
  • Violence against women and structural and systemic harm and abuse
  • The criminal justice system
  • The current funding environment
  • How do we create policy change?

This event has been conceived and organised by Thea Raisbeck, Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Birmingham and Head of Research at Spring Housing. It will be chaired by Michaela Campbell, Ending Women’s Homelessness Lead at Homeless Link.

We will be hearing from a range of specialist organisations such as Porchlight, Basis Yorkshire, The Westminster Housing First Project, Encompass, 1625 Independent People.

What's on?