Ending Rough Sleeping by Experience

Action Homeless are thrilled to be working with Expert Link to support people in using their life experiences to shape and inform services for people affected by homelessness in Leicester.

Thanks to funding from World Habitat’s Innovation Grant, people with previous personal experience of homelessness will receive training which will help them use their direct knowledge and expertise of the issue to make things better for others.

Those involved will also receive coaching and will be instrumental in the organisation of community events which encourage other people with lived experience to come forward and learn how their skills and insights are invaluable in ending homelessness.

The project is the latest initiative to come out of Leicester’s European End Street Homelessness Campaign. Part of World Habitat’s Europe-wide movement, the city of Leicester has seen the community coming together to tackle street homelessness with a series of street counts and partnership working which culminated in the launch of Leicester’s Homelessness Charter.

Mark Grant, chief executive of Action Homeless said ‘we can only improve support available to people affected by homelessness if we really listen to and involve those who have experienced it first-hand. The voices and expertise of those with lived experience are an essential component in our fight to end rough sleeping locally.’

‘We’re really grateful to World Habitat for funding this important work and to Expert Link for bringing their innovative training programme to Leicester.’

David Ford, Founder of Expert Link, said ‘Many people who experience homelessness can be labelled, stigmatised and removed from important decision making processes.

‘However, we know that every person with lived experience of homelessness has the skills, talents and knowledge to make a real difference to how services are run, for the good of individuals and others. We are excited to be working alongside Action Homeless to open up opportunities for people to share their wisdom and make a difference to responses to street homelessness in Leicester.’

Louise Winterburn, Head of the European End Street Homelessness Campaign at World Habitat, said:

‘Who better to inform and help design services that will really work for homeless people, than those who’ve had direct experience of it themselves. We’re really excited about this project in Leicester and will be following its progress closely. We’ll be eager to share its successes with other cities where it could also have an incredibly positive impact.’

Action Homeless are in the process of recruiting people to take part with training due to start later in the autumn. Project updates will be available via the charity’s website www.actionhomeless.org.uk and facebook and twitter pages.