How do we support women experiencing homelessness?

Action Homeless is committed to delivering high quality homes and personalised support which enables people to break the cycle of homelessness. As an organisation we are continually working to better understand women’s experiences of homelessness and to improve our services for women.

This International Women’s Day, we’re taking a little look back at some of the work we’ve been doing to support women over the last 12 months.

Elevating women’s voices. In August 2023 we partnered once again with InHer Strength, a long term theatre project providing creative opportunities for women with an experience of homelessness to challenge stereotypes. Women were invited to a discussion within our Community Lounge, during which they shared their experiences of homelessness. Their stories were then anonymised and incorporated into the theatre project. Some women’ stories were also recorded as monologues – listen here!

We also supported women to take part in media interviews, contributing to discussions on the (un)affordability of housing locally and the need for support for children impacted by homelessness.

Creating safe women’s only spaces. In December 2023 we celebrated the two year anniversary of our monthly Women’s Open Space. Funded from the National Lottery and in partnership with The Bridge Leicester, the relaxed monthly sessions bring women with personal experience of homelessness together over food and crafts. We also held a special edition of our Money Talks budgeting and life skills workshops, funded by Leicester City Council, for women who attend the Open Space.

We were pleased to launch a brand new women’s wellbeing group for women currently living in our temporary accommodation. Again, this is a women’s only environment offering women the opportunity to come together in a safe space. Hosted within our Community Lounge, the group offers activities and a chance to connect with others.

Meeting the practical needs of women to enhance wellbeing. We’re committed to ensuring the women have access to health and hygiene products. Our ongoing partnership with Lutterworth Hygiene Bank which began in June 2023 means that women can access a range of toiletries and hygiene essentials for free. We’re also pleased to partner with Bloody Good Period, who supply both disposable and reusable period products.

What’s next?

We’ve been busy working with and listening to women with personal experience of homelessness.

Our brand new women’s strategy, created in partnership with those women, will be published next month and will guide our responses and services designed to help women to break the cycle of homelessness over the next 5 years.