#AllinForChange on road again to Take Temperature of homelessness

The All in For Change team of people with personal and professional experience of homelessness is touring Scotland again to find out what’s happening on the ground in services against a backdrop of unprecedented housing pressures.

The Change team will hold free events in Aberdeen, Greenock, Falkirk, Kirkcaldy and Clydebank on the Taking the Temperature National Roadshow – where they will hear about local issues and solutions before sharing their findings with the Scottish Government.

They want to meet and learn from frontline workers and people who have experienced homelessness as well as local authority staff, managers and councillors. And they are keen for people working in health, social care, social work, addiction and criminal justice to come along — the events are open to anyone who can share their insights.

Prevention is a key theme of the roadshow, as new duties in the upcoming Housing Bill will require the wider public sector to intervene earlier to stop people becoming homeless. The Change Team played a key role in developing the ‘Ask and Act’ duties.

Housing supply and use of temporary accommodation are also up for discussion at the free informal events in February and March.

The team is made up of people who know what homelessness looks and feels like through lived or frontline work experience. Homeless Network Scotland and Cyrenians facilitate All in For Change, which is funded by the Scottish Government and Frontline Network.

Roadshow tour dates

  • Aberdeenshire Council HQ (in Aberdeen) — Tuesday, 20 February    
  • Greenock, Old Auction Rooms — Thursday, 22 February
  • Kirkcaldy, Fife, New Volunteer House — Tuesday, 5 March
  • Falkirk, Arnotdale House — Thursday, 7 March
  • Clydebank, Awestruck Academy — Thursday, 14 March

Suzie McIlloney, Rapid Rehousing Transition Plan Officer at South Ayrshire Council, is also a member of the Change Team.

She said: “We must listen and really hear what people are telling us through their experiences of homelessness. The Roadshows offer an opportunity for further insight into where we can do better but also what worked well.

“Travelling in the direction of being trauma informed and trauma responsive, we need to remind ourselves that when facing uncertainties, people need caring and compassionate connections.

“I got involved with the All in For Change Team because I see the value in bringing policymaking and lived experience together to drive forward real change.

“The more opportunities we have to work closer together, the better the outcomes are for people, services, and communities.

“People thrive off hope, purpose and connection and we can often overlook the significant role communities play in this. I believe everyone should have a place of their own to call home, it is the foundation for people to thrive and live well.

“There is an appetite for change so let’s not lose momentum.”

Change Lead Viki Fox has experienced homelessness and is now Policy and Participation Manager with Cyrenians.

She said: “We are really excited to be hosting our second national roadshow. When I started with the Change Team back in 2019, the roadshows were a key focus as we really wanted to talk to, and learn from, others living and working within the homeless sector throughout Scotland. 

“Contexts and challenges are very different in each area and it is important that we hear this and can feed it back to the Scottish Government. 

“During the pandemic we were doing this online, but nothing beats meeting people in person and having the opportunity to learn from each other. 

“Having experienced homelessness myself and now working for Cyrenians, I know that using this knowledge and hearing about what is working well  in different localities is invaluable if we are to end homelessness in Scotland.”

Paul McLennan, Minister for Housing, said: “Since taking up office, I’ve met with many Housing Convenors across the country to hear about the issues in their area, but these are only views from one perspective.

“I’m interested to hear from people with lived experience and frontline workers, particularly in relation to the barriers they encounter.  

“As we prepare to introduce new homelessness prevention duties, I want to know what people have been through and what works in preventing homelessness from happening in the first place. I’m glad to see the roadshow locations include some more rural communities.

“I’m looking forward to joining the Change Team in Kirkcaldy and hearing some peoples’ experiences first hand.”

The Roadshow events are in five Housing Options Hubs covering local authorities including Aberdeenshire, Inverclyde, Fife, Falkirk and West Dunbartonshire.

The Team will also use the Roadshow to hear evidence of whether the 4 New Directions they have developed to reduce homelessness have been adopted – and where there are barriers.

The directions, designed to help achieve the aims of the Scottish Government Ending Homelessness Together action plan, include co-ordinating services so people don’t have to keep repeating their story when looking for support, and overturning outdated stereotypes of homelessness.

All in For Glasgow

‘All in For Glasgow’ to support next phase of homelessness services

  • Progression of service model amid housing emergency in Glasgow
  • Change process will draw on local services and lived experience expertise
  • HNS to create structure for partners to collaborate and identify priorities

Glasgow City Health and Social Care Partnership has appointed Homeless Network Scotland to support the progression of its homelessness services against the backdrop of a housing emergency.
The organisation will facilitate a process that draws on expertise of local services and people with experience of homelessness to implement the evidence-backed solutions services can provide and pinpoint what matters most to people seeking help.
The ‘All in For Glasgow’ programme of change will focus on the support people need during a housing and cost-of-living crisis. This includes street outreach services for people sleeping rough, drop-in support at city-centre locations and at-home support for people after an experience of homelessness.
Branching out Housing First will be a priority – this means more capacity to provide flexible, wraparound support for more people whose homelessness is made harder by experiences with trauma, addiction or mental health. Determining the right capacity of support for people who want shared and supported housing will also be a priority. 
It comes after GCHSCP convened sessions with local service providers around the unprecedented pressures on housing and homelessness in the city, driven by factors including the cost-of-living crisis, inflation, UK immigration policy and global events. Glasgow City Council declared a housing emergency in November 2023.
All in For Glasgow will focus on creating the conditions for effective collaboration to advance service delivery by implementing the solutions that are proven to work – a crucial factor in this moment.
Homeless Network Scotland has been tasked with facilitating a new programme that will draw from recent learning, harness the energy of a sector determined to meet current challenges – and to put in place a strong network of support for people in Glasgow affected by both the cost-of-living crisis and housing emergency.
Glasgow is one of only two authorities in Scotland where homelessness is incorporated into health and social care planning structures. The GCHSCP broke new ground by setting up Health and Social Care Connect, a single route for people to access health and social care services.

Susanne Millar, Glasgow City Health and Social Care Partnership Chief Officer, said:

“We are delighted to continue our work with the homelessness sector within Glasgow and nationally. Our multi-agency work over the past several years provides a robust foundation from which we will move forward together.

“We have worked with Homeless Network Scotland for several years and are confident of their role in the next phase of this work.”

Maggie Brünjes, Homeless Network Scotland Chief Executive, said: 

“It is paramount that services that help people without a settled home are backed by best evidence of what works and deliver on what matters most to people using those services.

“Glasgow faces multiple pressures, but the city has the advantage of a skilled network of service providers, and a forward-looking Health and Social Care Partnership with a strong understanding of the problems and solutions that can have real impact.

“This is an opportunity to forge and reconnect pivotal relationships across the sector for the benefit of people and communities.”

A connect event is being held to welcome all interested parties to hear more about the programme and invite your feedback and collaboration. So make sure to book your space by clicking here.

Calls to build and be bold strike a chord at #FineTuned 

Hundreds of delegates connected at Scotland’s annual homelessness conference to share and discuss ideas on how to reverse rising homelessness – from being braver and more human together to making real the solutions we know will work. 

Fine Tuned: striking the right chord on homelessness was held in the same week as the scale of the problems the sector faces were laid bare by Edinburgh’s declaration of a housing emergency. 

But the mood in Perth Concert Hall was one of positivity and collaboration in the face of adversity – with the urgent need to build more homes, mitigate Westminster immigration policy, support cash-strapped local authorities and turn progressive Scottish legislation into action the key takeaways. 

Frontline workers, policy experts, local authority chiefs and people with experience of homelessness heard from event sponsor Wheatley Group, Perth & Kinross Council – who are achieving groundbreaking results on homelessness – and Housing Minister Paul McLennan. 

Housing Minister Paul McLennan

More homes and more money

In his keynote address the minister emphasised the Scottish Government’s priority to secure new investment in housing, reduce numbers in temporary accommodation, address rural challenges, the importance of the upcoming prevention duties – and the sector’s need for more money.

Taking questions from the floor on the new Ministerial Oversight Group on homelessness, he was pressed on the need for a joined-up approach to homelessness through the new National Care Service and the housing and budget pressures local authorities face.

In keeping with the event’s musical theme, Homeless Network Scotland chief executive Maggie Brünjes boiled down the five ‘key changes’ we need to take to combat homelessness: build more homes, reduce poverty and inequality, challenge UK Government policy, modernise homeless services and ensure a No Wrong Door approach. With the conference supporting her calls for a route-map to sequence, cost, target and time each of the actions in the Ending Homelessness Together Plan.

Humanity, bravery, music – and biscuits

Buzzing sofa sessions posed questions on how we can be more human and braver in all we do, with wide-ranging conversations covering the personal and the political, organisational and system angles – fuelled by a “favourite biscuit” icebreaker from host Maff Potts.

Our sofa panel considered the vulnerability of being human and the power of deep connection, and the hall was asked to hold a person facing homelessness in their thoughts as Maff played Nina Simone’s I Wish I Knew How it Would Feel to be Free on the piano – a profound shared moment.

After lunch, the session on bravery focused on changing systems by making services more joined-up and person-centred, pushing back on hostile UK Government immigration policy, continuing to bang the same drum on homelessness, and even turning up for work each day despite the challenges.

What’s working to help hardest hit

Humanity and bravery were core to breakout sessions that delved into the many efforts underway across the country to support people facing some of the hardest adversity.

Cyrenians and Scottish Women’s Aid outlined the progress of the Everyone’s WISH initiative, which harnesses the resources of the private sector to fund homes for women who have experienced domestic abuse – the largest cause of women’s homelessness in Scotland.

The Fair Way Scotland session heard from Heriot-Watt’s I-SPHERE institute about the first-year impact and future priorities of the partnership, which aims to prevent homelessness and destitution ​among people denied access to state support because of their immigration status.

A workshop on Rapid Rehousing heard about the transformational success of Perth & Kinross Council in reducing the number of people in temporary accommodation through flipping, buybacks and a Housing First approach, as well as challenges including the cost-of-living crisis.

And CATH Perth set out their achievements in employing Growth Mindset theory to help people facing barriers including homelessness and mental health through their Positive Pathways programme.

Brilliant exhibitors – and a rousing finale 

Throughout the day delegates visited exhibitions in the hall’s sunny foyer from Dogs Trust, Scottish Pantry Network, Cyrenians, Scottish Veterans Residences, MyBNK, Right There, Say WOMEN, Social Security Scotland and Grace Chocolates – who provided Halloween-themed table treats for the 250-strong crowd.  

And a day of open-minded enquiry and inspiration ended fittingly with the energising sound of drum and pipe band Clanadonia bringing down the curtain.  

Thank you to all the guests who made #FineTuned a success this year – including event sponsors Wheatley Group, Blue Triangle, Salvation Army, CATH Perth, Scottish Covid-19 Inquiry and Kingdom Housing Association. 

With thanks to all our brilliant exhibitors and sponsors

Welcome to the Learning Lounge

Find out what training and learning opportunities are coming up

We Are All In offers learning and development services to those working in and around housing and homelessness – all informed by lived experience and the latest policy and evidence. In our Learning Lounge select from popular courses that are updated regularly. While our Sounding Board offers consultancy services to help progress your priorities.

Upcoming Courses:

  • Closer to home: a place-based approach to preventing homelessness >>
  • Rough guide to homelessness policy & legislation in Scotland >>
  • The unequal risk: equality in housing and homelessness >>

There may be trouble ahead, so let’s face the music

Homeless Network Scotland, in partnership with Wheatley Group, are proud to present Scotland’s Annual Homelessness Conference and the release today of a packed programme and the first look at a line-up of pitch perfect speakers. Fine-Tuned: striking the right chord on homelessness is taking place on Tuesday 31 October 2023 at Perth Concert Hall, the very heart of a local authority area achieving breakthrough results on homelessness.

It is difficult to remember a time when global, UK and national events have aligned so acutely and with so much pressure on our local housing and homelessness systems in Scotland. The effects are already being felt by those who work or live with the challenges and who are now being relied upon to unlock solutions to unprecedented challenges. Fine-tuned is the opportunity to explore what we all need to fine-tune partnerships, improvise solutions and scale up what works. And to find together points of hope, optimism and inspiration amid the troubles ahead.

The day is warming up to strike the right chord, with guest contributors including:

Paul McLennan MSP Housing Minister

Thomas Glen Chief Executive, Perth & Kinross Council

Jen Ang Director of Development, Just Right Scotland

Maff Potts Director of Association, Camerados

Vonnie Sandlan Social Media Influencer

Dr Beth Watts Senior Research Fellow, I-SPHERE

Jeremy Wylie Associate, Homeless Network Scotland

And (… you may have guessed) some bursts of musical inspiration on the day too. Delegates will be played out by Clanadonia, Scotland’s legendary drum and pipe band.

Being human – and being brave. The conference will explore these two overarching themes across the day, recognising that the times we are living in call on us to nurture relationships, build from strengths and knowledge and grasp the nettle on the big questions. That it’s ok to make mistakes, it’s giving up that’s the real risk to progress. The day will include soloists, sofa sessions, roundtable discussions – and four specialist breakout sessions on immigration, women and homelessness, rapid rehousing and growth mindset. 

Maggie Brunjes, Homeless Network Scotland’s chief executive said:

“This is an extraordinarily pressured and committed sector, and the annual conference offers some time out and the opportunity to connect, draw inspiration and share learning. If you think the day’s themes are interesting and relevant to you, we look forward to seeing you there.”

“If you’re not sure that preventing and tackling homelessness is relevant to your role, then book your place today and let the conference convince you of the need to step outside our different sectors to solve a highly preventable problem in Scotland.”

And from the event partner:

“Wheatley Group is delighted to support Homeless Network Scotland’s Annual Homelessness Conference. As Scotland’s largest housing, care, and property-management group, our mission is ‘Making Homes and Lives Better’ for our 210,000 customers in 19 local authority areas across Scotland.

“As we find ourselves amid a cost-of-living crisis, times are undoubtedly challenging for tenants across the country. With ever-increasing pressure on local housing systems, Wheatley has a key role to play in working with public and private partners to tackle homelessness and help people into their own home.“

So, let’s face the music! Bookings are now open for Scotland’s annual homelessness conference – and we can’t wait to welcome you.

To view the full programme and book your place, please visit Homeless Network Scotland’s online conference page here.