10 Oct 2019

Working together on homelessness

Today is World Homeless Day (10 October). In its ninth year the day aims to draw attention to homeless people’s needs locally and provide opportunities for the community to get involved in responding to homelessness, while raising awareness across the globe.

GreenSquare works with local authorities and other organisations across Wiltshire, Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire, to provide housing and specialist support to vulnerable people, including those who are homeless or threatened with homelessness.

This includes a successful partnership with the charity Alabare. Among other services, they provide support for single homeless people living at our hostels in Chippenham and Salisbury.

Case study

Anna was made homeless and was sleeping anywhere she could find until she was put in touch with Alabare and offered accommodation. This was when her recovery fully started. “I could pop in and talk to the key workers when I felt I needed to and somebody always gave me an ear to listen or a shoulder to cry on if necessary,” she said.

“These services are vital in the community as they bridge the gap between being homeless and being housed and able to cope with the transition,” said Anna who had also been struggling with substance abuse. “Alabare held my hand every step of the way and helped me get on the housing list, with the bidding process and then eventually the physical move into my flat.”

Anna is now flourishing, successfully living in her own home and able to pay her bills. “My life is full and happy. I owe so much to Alabare, even though the key workers said I did it myself. I have already done a peer mentoring course and in the future, once my son is older, my aim is to work for a similar organisation, helping people who are in the same situation as I was in.” 

Jackie Tallack, Partnerships and Strategic Housing Manager at GreenSquare, said: “World Homeless Day is increasingly relevant as the number of individuals and families homeless or at risk of homelessness rises across the UK. We are committed to helping to tackle homelessness wherever possible, and investing in and building strong partnerships with other organisations, charities and local authorities is one of the ways we canmake a real difference.”

In October 2018 GreenSquare signed up to the National Housing Federation’s Commitment to Refer, helping to take action on homelessness. 

This is a voluntary commitment for housing associations to refer an individual or household to the local authority if they are homeless or at risk of being so. This supports the aims of the Government’s Homelessness Reduction Act which came into force in April 2018.