Emergency Host homes are emergency short-term placements in volunteers’ own homes in the community for people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. Hosting services are often aimed at young people with low support needs, but exist for other groups too, such as people who have been refused asylum. The process of matching and ensuring suitability of a host home and providing support to the person to move on from the host home is generally undertaken by a not-for-profit organisation.
Emergency Host homes aim to provide a safe place for someone to stay either while family relationships are repaired so they can return to their previous home or while a suitable move-on option is found – for example, their own tenancy in shared housing or in supported accommodation. Such schemes are intended to prevent people from rough sleeping or falling into hidden homeless situations.
There are no studies measuring the effectiveness of Emergency Host Homes.
There are currently no relevant studies.
No evidence is available on which groups this intervention affects.
No evidence is available on which outcomes this intervention affects
If you are implementing an emergency host home service, your primary consideration should be to establish and maintain a group of hosts. When recruiting and training hosts, be aware that hosts who are supportive and well trained tend to offer the best experience to service users. Full engagement by hosts and good emotional skills can help the service user beyond the duration of their stay.
Ensure that your team are aware that service users will value the programme more highly if they are not expected to move between hosts and are allowed to leave their belongings at the host home during the day.
Establish partnership arrangements with external agencies to allow onward referrals for service users to access more settled accommodation and/or successful mediation and reconnection with family. These work best when there are protocols for joint working between statutory and voluntary agencies to end youth homelessness.
Advertise your service widely among all potential referral sources, including directly to young people. Your team’s goal should be to recruit enough hosts to meet demand and allow for longer stays. Staff should also tell service users some basic details (e.g. household composition, occupations, etc) about their prospective hosts before they move in. It would also be helpful for service users to learn more about their host before they move in.
Explore a range of move-on accommodation options and plan ahead to facilitate availability of suitable housing.