Following the success of our Partnership Group meetings, in particular noticing the opportunity for our partners to learn about and support each other’s work and build relationships, we decided to create a separate group dedicated to bringing together trailblazer homelessness prevention services in London.
Most of these services originated from the 2016 ‘Trailblazers Funding’ released by the then-DCLG (now the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government), to give local authorities the resources to pilot new initiatives, ramp up their homelessness prevention work, and take different approaches to reducing homelessness. NFNO was the first of many now operating all over the country.
The result is the Homelessness Prevention Trailblazer Working Group, which meets every six weeks, our first meeting being hosted by NFNO at the City of London Guildhall in June 2018.
Members include the trailblazer projects for:
- SPEAR/Fresh Start (Kingston, Sutton, Merton)
- ThamesReach ‘No First Night Out’ (Bexley, Bromley, Greenwich and Lewisham)
- Early Homelessness Prevention Service (Barnet, Camden, Enfield, Haringey, Islington, Westminster)
- East London Housing Partnership (Barking & Dagenham, City of London, Havering, Hackney, Newham, Redbridge, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest)
- and NFNO (City of London, Tower Hamlets and Hackney)
The Working Group represents the collective voice of 21 London boroughs.
At NFNO we believe passionately that talking to similar services is invaluable to shaping our understanding of the wider London response to homelessness prevention and the impact of legislation, including the Homelessness Reduction Act (HRA) and welfare reform, on local authorities and our third sector colleagues.
Initially the Working Group meetings were designed as a way of expanding our shared learning and development, and with the assistance of London Councils, the informal structure enabled services to share stories and good practice, identify frustrations, and also to come together to tackle shared obstacles.
Over time the purpose and direction of the Group will continue to evolve, but in particular we believe these meetings will be a key opportunity to develop and present a collective message to central government on what we think homelessness prevention could and should look like beyond the current phase of funding.
More updates will follow in future editions of our Bulletin, but if you would like to know more or perhaps get involved with the Working Group please contact us.