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December 21, 2021

Reflections of the past year and looking ahead to 2022

We would like to wish our friends and colleagues a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. It has been a pleasure working with you through the past unprecedented and challenging year, and we should be proud of all that has been achieved.

As we enter another year of the unknown, we wanted to share some of the highlights of the last 12 months and look ahead at what’s to come in the new year.

Making evidence accessible

Our goal is to create a society in which homelessness is prevented whenever possible or is otherwise a rare, brief and non-recurring experience across the United Kingdom by 2030. We know this won’t happen without careful, detailed, practical work and partnerships. As part of this, we’re working with local areas to create a data-driven definition of what we mean by ending homelessness. We are working with leaders of local communities across the UK and encouraging them to think of a definition whereby homelessness would be prevented, and when this is not possible, it would be rare, brief and non-recurring. And we are working together to think through what that would mean in practice and how success could be measured and celebrated along the way.

Our work is all about gathering data and evidence on what works to end homelessness, and we want to make this as accessible as possible. The launch of our series of Evidence Notes – concise summaries of existing research into how to relieve and prevent homelessness – is one way we’re doing this. The Centre’s data and evidence team has synthesised findings from research studies and reviews by experts across the world, focusing on eight key areas including drugs and alcohol, homelessness legislation, and mental health. The first four papers can be found on our Publications page, and we’ll be publishing four more in the new year, each with a dedicated online ‘drop-in’ session when the team will be available to answer questions about the research base in each area. Find out more and sign up for the sessions here.

Forging collaborative partnerships

For our work to have impact, we must build partnerships with local authorities, thought leaders, organisations and institutions across the UK and engage with people who work within the sector to mobilise a culture of learning and support data and evidence to be applied in practice. We built upon our What Works Community pilot, developing a more structured and spread out learning journey over 6 months that was delivered remotely to many more participants. We have even bolder plans for 2022. Find out more on our blog, and sign up to join the Community.

We are also delighted to have forged a new partnership with Comic Relief to accelerate our work to bring a what works approach to ending homelessness across the UK. Over a three-year period, Comic Relief will put forward £600,000 under its Change Makers programme, and CHI will invest the same.

Convening great minds

Despite everything moving onto the digital sphere, we’ve managed to host over 20 great events this past year, with over 1100 people attending. Highlights include the launch of our End It With Evidence campaign, a panel discussion for a House of Commons audience on ending street homelessness by 2024 and a joint event with Pro Bono Economics to further explore how we achieve value for money in homelessness programmes. We also held our annual Impact Forum in June, with five days of online discussions, workshops and presentations on the theme of resilience. You can watch the round-up of the week here

Looking to 2022

The end of the year is time for reflection, and we have been giving thought to the past 12 months as a defining year for homelessness. With many unprecedented responses to homelessness brought about by the pandemic, how can we ensure that these successes are built upon going forward? This is the theme that we will be exploring in our upcoming Impact Forum on 27th January, held in person in Glasgow and online. Find out more and book your place.

A second Impact Forum will be held in early summer, with details to be announced in Spring.

As well as our larger forums, we have an exciting programme of events with partner organisations in the pipeline. In the spring, we’ll be with the International Public Policy Observatory at UCL to look at how cities across the world responded to the challenge of supporting people impacted by homelessness during the pandemic.

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