Charities Crisis and Glasgow Homelessness Network (GHN) have today announced that they are creating a new Centre for Homelessness Impact to be based in Glasgow, Edinburgh and London, and set to launch in spring 2018.
The new Centre for Homelessness Impact will analyse how to most effectively prevent and tackle homelessness. It will help policy-makers, commissioners and front-line practitioners build and use evidence about ‘what works’, supporting them to make effective use of resources and to improve impact. In all its work, the Centre will strive to make evidence accessible - through training, support for innovation, and interactive tools.
Core funding has been committed to the venture, initially for three years, by philanthropist Humphrey Battcock. The Centre has the support of the Scottish and UK governments, with the Scottish Minister for Local Government and Housing Kevin Stewart MSP and Homelessness Minister Marcus Jones MP both backing the initiative.
The announcement follows the publication in January 2017 of the feasibility study, Ending Homelessness Faster by Focusing on ‘What Works’.
The Centre will be headed by Dr Ligia Teixeira, formerly Head of Research and Evaluation at Crisis, as Centre Director with Margaret-Ann Brunjes of GHN as Chair. Its work will be directed by a board of nine members comprising senior leaders from the public, private and charitable sectors.
The initial programme of work for the Centre will include:
The Centre team will work closely with strategic partners to deliver this work, including: the UK Collaborative Centre for Housing Evidence, the Campbell Collaboration, Dartington Service Design Lab, Heriot-Watt University, the Faculty for Inclusion Health, the Wales Centre for Public Affairs, and the Alliance for Useful Evidence.
“I am delighted to give my backing to this new Centre for Homelessness Impact."
“We have set out significant commitments to eradicate homelessness and rough sleeping in Scotland. That includes the formation of a Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Action Group, set up in October, backed by £50 million to drive change over the next five years.”
“To meet these commitments we must use the power of evidence to ensure that we take actions that are going to really work, and do the most good possible for every pound spent. The Centre will be an important resource for the Action Group and others to draw on, helping to guide decisions and actions in the longer term."
“It’s great news that funding has been secured for a new Centre to prevent and reduce homelessness more effectively.”
“This is a clear priority for this Government and insights from the Centre have the potential to provide us with a much deeper understanding of the most promising approaches in this area.”
“It’s tough being homeless and, in all our different roles, it’s hard to be sure that what we decide and deliver is also what’s most effective. This Centre wants to help make that task easier and people’s lives better. This is an idea tested and now launching in Scotland but with real interest to the rest of the UK and beyond. I’m especially pleased to have the opportunity to support a uniquely qualified Board whose vast experience will guide and connect the Centre’s first steps”.
“Together, the homelessness sector helps many thousands of people each year – but we still have a long way to go before we end homelessness for good. This initiative has the potential to develop the means to do just that by helping the sector to harness the power of evidence and data to improve the impact of our work and make a real step change.”
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What can universities do to prevent homelessness?
What has homelessness got to do with universities? The responses to this question may range from a puzzled shrug to an emphatic ‘nothing’. Is not ending homelessness the responsibility of the state, some will ask? The prevalence of homelessness tends to be higher in university towns and cities, in some cases strikingly so.
Could universities do more to prevent homelessness?
Universities should do more to track and prevent homelessness among their students and can play a significant, wider role in supporting efforts to end all forms of homelessness, our latest policy paper published in partnership with the Higher Education Policy Institute argues.