Housing Justice

Homelessness Prevention work across our Network

Take a read about what our members are up to across our network in the areas of housing justice, supporting those who are homeless and working to prevent homelessness occurring.

World Homeless Day recently took place on the 10th of October and churches marked Homelessness Sunday the Sunday before it, an initiative promoted by the charity Housing Justice. These events aim to raise awareness of homelessness and the current housing crisis within the UK. 1 in 10 people in England have personal experience of homelessness. Many Members of the Together Network have tackling homelessness and its prevention as key priorities of their work in their communities. It is well known that risk of homelessness often has complex, multiple factors but a big risk concerns multiple strands of the web of poverty, for example, lack of employment, decline in mental health and relationships and an increase in financial debt.

Web of poverty

Together Leicester directly supports the work of Leicester’s Homelessness Charter by employing (with funding from the National Lottery Community Fund) a Development Manager, Eilidh, whose role is to lead work with many partners, both groups and individuals to put the Charter’s aims into action. Current priorities include supporting groups who are directly involved in delivering homelessness services to reshape after the pandemic, creating a website to further promote the Charter and creating resources for people supporting families and individuals affected by homelessness. The Homelessness Charter was set up in 2018; it has 150 signatories and 36 organisations committing to actively working together to improve lives of those who are homeless and seek solutions to prevent homelessness occurring. Its aims include ensuring safe accommodation is available to all so no one has to sleep on the streets; increasing affordable housing; to improve local systems for homeless people to access, so they can be better supported.

Greater Together Manchester also puts partnership working at the centre of its work to prevent homelessness in all its forms. They are a member of the Manchester Homelessness Partnership, which aims to address the goals of the Manchester Homelessness Charter as well as belonging to the Greater Manchester Homelessness Action Network (GMHAN). Both of these bring together individuals and organisations from across sectors and specialisms to work towards ending homelessness. The Charter is supported by 393 pledges and also runs action groups working on areas of improvement for homeless people; there is a partnership board chaired by the Bishop of Manchester and a Partnership Driving Group facilitated by Street Support. GMHAN operate a model of coproduction and community development. They have three task groups focused on delivery, learning and lobbying, a supporting coordination group and a programme board. They also run network events every 3 months which aim to share best practice and codesign the homelessness policy, setting priorities to be taken forwards in between events.


Many of our partners offer practical support to those experiencing homelessness. Together in Sussex and Imagine Norfolk Together run winter night shelters and drop-in sessions to provide food, clothing and healthcare. Alongside this frontline work, Members are committed in partnership with other local community organisations to tackle the root causes of homelessness and develop sustainable routes out of homelessness. This includes signposting people to more long-term support such as securing financial advice, accessing benefits, finding employment and providing training for new schemes set up to address the causes and outcomes of homelessness. Greater Together Manchester run Lifeskills sessions for those who are currently homeless or previously experienced homelessness, which include time for games, socializing and chances to talk to help with life skills and improve the wellbeing of those attending.

Some of our partners, including Greater Together Manchester and Transforming Notts Together are delivering a new and innovative relational homeless project in their area called Wayfinder. Pioneered by Church Urban Fund, the programme offers support to people moving away from homelessness or temporary accommodation. Individuals are paired with a volunteer support worker, who helps them to achieve their personal goals, adapt to their local community and make a more long-term stable home for themselves. It was set up to help counteract different issues which can arise within a new tenancy and therefore prevent them failing and properties being abandoned or eviction occurring. By working together to find solutions, the cycle of homelessness can be broken.

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Together Middlesbrough and Cleveland run a holistic programme called Positive Pathways for those experiencing homelessness and struggling with addiction, mental health or loneliness to support them to cope with the challenges they face in life. It is a five-year programme supported by the Church Urban Fund and Bramall Foundation and delivered alongside the organisation DePaul within a wider support partnership including the local authority, MIND, JobCentrePlus, Recovery connections, Breaking the Boundaries Outreach team, the Homeless Forum and others. The programme provides one-to-one and group support, which includes café style drop-in sessions and therapeutic sessions to help develop life skills and resilience. The group sessions often draw upon the arts (for example, singing and creative writing) and activities focused on wellbeing such as walking groups and meditation.

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Access to advice and support is key to helping those experiencing homelessness and awareness and understanding of the prevalence and complexities of homelessness among the general public is vital to creating a society where all can experience living in a safe home long-term. Transformation Cornwall raise awareness of and support different charities working to prevent homelessness in the region and nationally, providing details of services on a dedicated, practical page on their website as well as links to useful resources.

Though there are still many living in homelessness across the country, our Members are doing sterling work in many areas to ensure that this reality will not continue and housing injustice will end.

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