How can we help make every contact count? - call for evidence

Monday, 1 September 2014 - 12:54pm

Public Health England has commissioned Homeless Link to review the role of the health sector in preventing homelessness. Can you let us know what is working well in your own area to help us produce an evidence base.

Photograph: Spyros Papaspyropoulos

You’ve probably heard the often quoted analogy about the person falling off a cliff: why spend all the time, effort and money rescuing people who’ve fallen off, when you should be looking at why they are falling off in the first place. Sounds obvious, but so many resources are still tied up in the crisis end of provision rather than preventing people’s problems occurring or worsening much earlier on.

Trying to make this help available ‘upstream’ is critical to homelessness prevention, and also to preventing poor health. These are key priorities for Public Health England, who last month commissioned us to conduct a rapid review of effective homelessness prevention interventions that have been developed in response to identified health and wellbeing needs.

Public Health England would like to know if it is possible for local agencies to better identify a connection between a household’s health, wellbeing and housing circumstances before crisis – in this case their homelessness - and what examples exist of responses that are effective in preventing homelessness, and protecting and improving health and wellbeing.

Call for evidence

As part of this review we are issuing a call for evidence of existing and emerging ‘prevention practice’ which tackles homelessness and leads to improvements in health and wellbeing. We are interested in hearing about any examples where early intervention linked to health and wellbeing has prevented homelessness from occurring, or resolved a person’s housing need rather than models of practice which focus on tackling the health and wellbeing of people who are already homeless.

If you are doing work in this area, please download our simple call for evidence template below to tell us about it, and return it to Francesca Albanese by 17th September. It is an opportunity to highlight what you’re doing to PHE and other commissioners, and encourage more of this work to happen in the future.

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Helen Mathie

Helen Mathie

Head of policy and communications

Helen currently job shares her role with Caroline Bernard, jointly overseeing Homeless Link’s policy, research, information and communications team.