Crisis to launch new Centre for Homelessness Impact

Prevention will be high on the centre's list of priorities when it launches in Glasgow, Edinburgh and London next spring in conjunction with Glasgow Homelessness Network

Crisis will launch a Centre for Homelessness Impact in 2018 with a focus on preventing and tackling homelessness across the country.

The charity has secured funding to open the centre in Edinburgh, London and Glasgow, in conjunction with Glasgow Homelessness Network (GHN), next spring.

Backed by both the UK and Scottish governments, it is hoped that the centre will help policy-makers, commissioners and front-line practitioners build and use evidence about what works.

This will be used to decide how best to make effective use of resources and to boost the impact of their implementation.

Dr Ligia Tiexeira, formerly Crisis’ head of research and evaluation, will be taking on the role of centre director with GHN’s Margaret-Ann Brunjes appointed chair.

The pair will be assisted by a board of nine senior leaders from the public, private and charitable sectors in directing how the core funding, for three years, by philanthropist Humphrey Battcock will be used.

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Initially, the focus will be on creating an evidence map and ‘what works’ guide to steer investment to where it can have the greatest impact on homelessness as well as developing an outcomes framework. The centre will also design standards of evidence to help service providers and policy makers improve decision-making on intervention.

The centre, which works alongside partners such as Heriot-Watt University and the Wales Centre for Public Affairs, aims to become fully independent by spring 2019.

Jon Sparkes, chief executive of Crisis, said: “Together, the homelessness sector helps many thousands of people each year – but we still have a long way to go before we end homelessness for good. This initiative has the potential to develop the means to do just that by helping the sector to harness the power of evidence and data to improve the impact of our work and make a real step change.”

Scottish Minister for Local Government and Housing Kevin Stewart MSP believes that the centre will be a strong partner for the Scottish government’s Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Action Group.

He said: “I am delighted to give my backing to this new Centre for Homelessness Impact.

“We have set out significant commitments to eradicate homelessness and rough sleeping in Scotland. That includes the formation of a Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Action Group, set up in October, backed by £50m to drive change over the next five years.”

“To meet these commitments we must use the power of evidence to ensure that we take actions that are going to really work, and do the most good possible for every pound spent. The centre will be an important resource for the action group and others to draw on, helping to guide decisions and actions in the longer term.”

Pic credit: Smabs Sputzer, licensed via Creative Commons

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