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How a Strength-based Approach can help people experiencing homelessness achieve their goals

How a Strength-based Approach can help people experiencing homelessness achieve their goals

How a Strength-based Approach can help people experiencing homelessness achieve their goals

Thursday, May 5, 2022

This is a guest post from Homeless Link, sharing how frontline workers can use a Strength-based Approach to support people experiencing homelessness.

Often, when talking about people experiencing homelessness, we define them by their supposed ‘problems’. It could be their substance use, their criminal history or mental health issues.  Whatever it is, identifying people in this way can be de-humanising, defining people by negatives and not seeing their strengths.

A Strengths-based Approach is a way of working that focuses on peoples’ strengths, interests and potential. It places people at the heart of the process, allowing them to direct and define their own support. It encourages people working in services to get to know the individual holistically. They should work together to identify strengths and goals that the person wishes to work towards, and the approach places a considerable focus on building positive relationships between people working in organisations and those accessing them.

To help show how the approach works in practice, Homeless Link have released a new short animation following the story a woman called Jade and it tells how Grace (her Coach) and the wider community work with her as she identifies her strengths and goals. It shows how the four themes of a Strengths-based Approach – Strengths, Relationships, Consistency and Community – work in practice, following Jade as she builds on her pre-existing skills and starts to see herself in a new light.

The animation is available as an open resource for the homelessness sector to use to help spread the word about the importance of embedding Strengths-based principles so please share the link widely and use it internally too. If you want to find out more about a Strength-based Approach, head over to the Homeless Link website, where you can also find details of the training we offer to help organisations embed the approach within their work.

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