2020 Annual Conference ‘Tackling Homelessness Together’

Homes for Cathy is excited to partner with Inside Housing, Crisis and the Chartered Institute of Housing to deliver the third annual Homes for Cathy Conference on Monday 23 March at Congress Centre, London WC1. Uniting leaders and practitioners from housing associations, local authorities and charities to share real examples of the work being done to end homelessness, the event provides a platform for informed debate and discussion and examination and exploration of the good practices being utilised in the sector.

Spring 2020 Regional Workshops

We are continuing our successful programme of regional Homes for Cathy homelessness workshops in partnership with members, with several exciting events lined up for Spring 2020.

Both housing practitioners and local stakeholders involved in the delivery of homelessness services are invited to attend these free workshops. We welcome attendance by frontline staff working for Homes for Cathy member organisations, as well as non-member housing associations interested in joining the Homes for Cathy alliance. The workshops offer an ideal opportunity for organisations to discuss homelessness policies and practices at local level and discover how they can work together collaboratively to fulfil the Homes for Cathy commitments.

North West Homelessness Workshop in partnership with Riverside – 5 March 2020

Interested in hosting a regional Homes for Cathy event? Drop us a line at homesfor, to discuss how your organisation can get involved.

Winter Member Meeting – London

Thanks to everyone who came to our winter member meeting on 21 November – it was great to see so many housing associations and charities represented at the event!

Our guest speakers provided an excellent insight into what is being done to tackle homelessness at both national and local level. Catherine Bennion, Deputy Director of Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Delivery at MHCLG, gave an overview of the current cross-government response to the homelessness crisis and an update on the Homelessness Reduction Act.

Chris Hancock, Head of Best Practice at Crisis, outlined the findings of its recent research into how we communicate about homelessness. According to the research, by ‘flexing the frame’ – focusing messaging around our moral human rights, interdependence and the constant pressure of poverty that makes people susceptible to homelessness – we can build public support and political commitment for action and change.

The intrinsic link between domestic violence and housing needs was explored by Guddy Burnet of Peabody/Domestic Abuse Housing Alliance (DAHA), who called for a more coordinated community response to domestic abuse, highlighting the safeguarding duties of social housing providers.

Following the recent media interest in affordability checks and allocations policies, prompted by CIH’s ‘Rethinking Allocations’ research, Simon Clark, Group Director of Housing at Sanctuary, explained how his organisation has scrapped affordability tests altogether, investing in frontline training and a wellbeing framework to identify where applicants may require additional support. Attendees shared their own experiences of eligibility assessments in a roundtable discussion – a summary of which can be found here.

Homes for Cathy’s David Bogle gave an update on recommendations to capture data for measuring the group’s KPIs using existing CORE figures – we’ll be contacting all members shortly to advise further.

Please click below to download copies of the guest speaker presentations:

Catherine Bennion – MHCLG

Chris Hancock – Crisis

Guddy Burnet – Peabody / DAHA

Simon Clark – Sanctuary

David Bogle

London Meeting & Workshop – How do we measure our impact?

Our Homes for Cathy meeting and workshop on 26 July 2019 was a great opportunity for members to hear about examples of best practice from housing associations and charities working towards ending homelessness and to join the discussion about potential KPIs to measure our impact as a group.

Attendees heard from Origin’s Katri Wilson about Project 99, a partnership offering accommodation and support to young people in Camden and from Evolve Housing + Support’s Jeremy Gray, who discussed on the charity’s strengths-based approach to helping homeless people turn their lives around.

Feedback from the KPI discussion session can be found here – our steering group will be considering these over the coming weeks to formalise a plan for the future, so watch this space!

Please check the next newsletter for details of Homes for Cathy meetings taking place during the autumn.

Jeremy Gray, CEO of Evolve Housing + Support, discusses the charity’s strengths-based approach