Justlife Influencing Change
What a week for Justlife?! On Monday, 12 December, we went to parliament to present our latest report published alongside IPPR North (Institute for Public Policy Research), highlighting the hidden and bleak nature of living in unsupported temporary accommodation. The event was kicked off by Rt Hon. John Healey, MP, Shadow Secretary for Housing and Planning who called everyone to action, saying we all needed to work together to challenge barriers for the hidden homeless. The presentations that followed–by Julian Corner, CEO Lankelly Chase; Christa Maciver, Researcher and Project Lead, Justlife; Ed Cox, Director of IPPR North; Gary Bishop, CEO Justlife–raised the reality that the majority of those who are in unsupported temporary accommodation occupy ‘blind spots’ outside the system and are therefore unknown to those from whom they could be receiving support. The hidden homeless are left suffering in poor standard accommodation, with deteriorating mental and physical health as a result of occupying these ‘blind spots’ within the system, and are ultimately not considered homeless. Both Ed Cox and Gary Bishop were clear that hidden homelessness needed to be treated on a par with rough sleeping and therefore included in homeless prevention and support strategies. The room in Parliament was full of many supporters, organisations, funders and decision-makers who all went away saying they felt more informed and challenged about the situation hidden homeless in unsupported temporary accommodation face, but felt as though there was momentum for change.
The momentum continued on Thursday this week with a trip to Newcastle where we conducted a workshop centred around effective implementation in the North East of our main recommendation, temporary accommodation boards. The workshop was a success, with honest conversations about barriers for change. We left with stronger links created in the North East and the foundation was laid for another pilot in the New Year.
This week has been a fantastic week, full of new experiences and fresh opportunities influencing change for residents of unsupported temporary accommodation. We are finishing 2016 feeling positive and tangible change is unfolding.
Here is a gallery of pictures from our day in Parliament – Enjoy!