SFHA Poverty and Inequality Conference to discuss Homelessness Prevention Fund
SFHA’s Housing Now, Housing’s Future: Poverty and Inequality Conference, taking place on 18 February, will hear how Queens Cross Housing Association and Wheatley Group have used the funding to support their work.
By Sharon Freeman, Wellbeing Service Manager, Queens Cross Housing Association.
Queens Cross Housing Association (QCHA) has over 30 years’ experience of supporting young people who have experienced homelessness. We know that one of the most significant predictors of youth homelessness is young people having been homeless as a child. In our Housing First for Young People service, 70% of young people currently supported, experienced homelessness in their childhoods.
To disrupt the cycle of youth homelessness, it’s important that we focus on families at an early stage to prevent them from becoming homeless and stop children from experiencing homelessness. Through funding from the Scottish Government Homelessness Prevention Fund, we have set up a family wellbeing intervention service to support families in our area who are at greater risk of homelessness.
To get the best outcomes for families, we have based our interventions on young people’s direct experiences supported by our Housing First for Young People service, who experienced homelessness in their childhoods. They have shared their experience and knowledge of being a child and young adult who has experienced homelessness and advised us on what interventions could have made a difference in their childhoods.
At QCHA, we have an in-depth knowledge of who our tenants are and what hardships they are facing. We know the families in our homes who are at a higher risk of homelessness. With the coronavirus pandemic’s impact, families’ vulnerability has increased, and child poverty is on the rise. Due to the information we have about the families who live in our homes, we are particularly directing our interventions at single-parent families and young parents.
We are currently working with a number of families. We know that providing a home for these families is not enough to prevent homelessness now or in the future.
We are providing them with wraparound family-driven support. Our holistic approach focuses on improving the wellbeing of the whole family. We provide the support that the parent needs to provide a safe, secure and nurturing home, but we also take the time to understand the children’s needs and recognise the trauma that they may have already experienced. We are working with families who have a number of complex support needs, and we have the stickability needed to engage with them.
By helping families have the best possible life chances, overcoming the impact of poverty and inequality they face, the preventative approach and interventions of our family wellbeing project can be transformational.
Through a partnership between SFHA and the Scottish Government, 11 projects that reduce child poverty and prevent homelessness have received funding, meeting recommendations made by the Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Action Group (HARSAG). During SFHA’s Poverty and Inequality Conference on 18 February. Queens Cross Housing Association will join Wheatley Group and the Scottish Government to discuss the Homelessness Prevention Fund and some of the projects in receipt of funding.
Housing Now, Housing’s Future strategic event series:
18 February: Poverty and Inequality
25 February: Digital Empowerment and Leadership
4 March: Our Sector, Our People
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Ticket options are flexible. Attend one event for £150 for SFHA members or attend the remaining three events for £390, a saving on £60, compared to booking each event individually.
To book your place for this event and learn more about our Housing Now, Housing’s Future event series, please visit the SFHA Live! section.