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Calls from the Frontline to end homelessness in Scotland

Calls from the Frontline to end homelessness in Scotland

Calls from the Frontline to end homelessness in Scotland

Monday, June 18, 2018

Maggie Brünjes, Director of the Glasgow Homeless Network (GHN)

Later this month, the Scottish Government’s Homelessness & Rough Sleeping Action Group will publish its final set of recommendations. Across its short-life, the Group has taken every opportunity to consult broadly on what Scotland needs to do differently to stop homelessness and has reasserted a housing-led response within a new prevention and rapid rehousing framework.

This urgency is felt deeply on the frontline. Colleagues from across all sectors providing support, care, advice, advocacy - and more - have a job made more difficult when it is not backed by the best policies, the newest information or access to the right resources.

Cyrenians and St-Martin-in-the-Fields Charity already collaborate with frontline workers in Scotland through the Frontline Network. Together, we invited people working on the frontline to swap notes and help make sure that the Action Group’s recommendations were grounded in frontline reality. 75 colleagues joined us from across Scotland in two brilliant, lively and inspiring sessions in Edinburgh and Glasgow.

The Action Group has now made several recommendations to strengthen frontline responses and champion the role of frontline workers as key knowledge-holders and decision-makers. The Action Group’s final report also notes that:

“…organisations and networks such as the Scottish Coproduction Network, SHIEN (Scottish Homelessness Involvement Network), and the Frontline Network have an important role to play in bringing people’s experiences to the forefront.”

We all know that ending homelessness needs structural as well as systems change; the driving forces of poverty and inequality, and the health of our housing and labour markets. Addressing that - and responding to every unique and personal experience of homelessness - means actively crossing the line between different roles, breaking down barriers, sharing insights and expertise.

When change happens, it will happen on the ground - and people on the frontline will be the first to know. More frontline leaders emerging in starring roles over the next phase will help make the impact on homelessness that everyone wants a reality.

Read the report 'Calls from the Frontline' here. 

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