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LINKING SERVICES FOR BLACK AND MINORITY ETHNIC (BME) HOMELESS INDIVIDUALS (LSP) MARCH 2005 – JULY 2007 RACE ON THE AGENDA Dr. Theo Gavrielides, Head of.

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Presentation on theme: "LINKING SERVICES FOR BLACK AND MINORITY ETHNIC (BME) HOMELESS INDIVIDUALS (LSP) MARCH 2005 – JULY 2007 RACE ON THE AGENDA Dr. Theo Gavrielides, Head of."— Presentation transcript:

1 LINKING SERVICES FOR BLACK AND MINORITY ETHNIC (BME) HOMELESS INDIVIDUALS (LSP) MARCH 2005 – JULY 2007 RACE ON THE AGENDA Dr. Theo Gavrielides, Head of Policy

2 Presentation overview Who are we? The project: target groups, disadvantages tackled, deliverables, methodology. Best practice – pilots, examples and challenges. Conclusions & recommendations.

3 RACE ON THE AGENDA ROTA is a social policy think tank devoted to issues that affect Black and minority ethnic (BME) communities in London. Key policy priorities are: Crime & Antisocial Behaviour. Equalities & Human Rights. Community Cohesion. Education, Health & Social Services. Social Inclusion & Homelessness. Regional Governance.

4 Linking Services for Black & minority ethnic homeless individuals Project (LSP) TO TEST: referral routes between BME and homeless provision over a period of a year. TO MAP: BME training provision for BME homeless individuals. TO RAISE AWARENESS: of mainstream and BME organisations of the needs of BME homeless individuals seeking routes out of inactivity and worklessness. TO CREATE UNDERSTANDING: of the challenges faced and the work produced by the BME and homeless sectors. TO PROVIDE SUPPORT & MENTORING: to 15 BME homeless individuals (e.g. training on service users participation techniques, information on their rights and possible routes out of homelessness and worklessness). BEST PRACTISE SHARING: through a best practice toolkit in partnership with mainstream and BME homeless service provides and a directory of BME homeless Education Advice and Training services.

5 LSP: Target groups & Disadvantages covered Target groups BME homeless individuals (sample of 15). BME homeless organisations. Mainstream (voluntary, community sector, public) homeless organisations. Disadvantages Covered BME/ Homeless/ unemployed – disabled. BME/ Homeless/ unemployed - ex-offenders. BME/ Homeless/ unemployed – new arrivals (lack of language skills, lack of the knowledge of the country etc). BME/ Homeless/ unemployed – mental health. BME/ Homeless/ unemployed – substance abuse.

6 Methodology Phase 1 (Round 1 & 2) Scoping exercise (completed). Project Brief (completed). Desk Research (completed). Fieldwork - qualitative research (under way). Stakeholder engagement/ consultation (ongoing). Phase 2 (Round 3) Communication & dissemination strategy. Awareness raising. Policy/ legislative input: local – national – European levels.

7 Best practice: findings so far “Ideal services” as seen by the service user (BME homeless individuals) – interviews/ questionnaires & focus groups: - Organisations that provide verbal explanations of benefit rights and how to claim them. - Accurate, timely and tailored information to queries not vague “problems”. - User-friendly, accessible (language) info (e.g. on housing benefits). - Multiple disadvantages being addressed by one key worker. - Addressing their fears (e.g. working in informal and unofficial employment sector – disadvantages and dangers). - Organisations that provide employment cultural orientation (cultural sensitive).

8 Challenges & pitfalls Xenophobia & racism (the anti-Muslim backlash following the London bombings, anti EU sentiments and negative press coverage of migration). - vulnerable single male BME Homeless Individuals/ mainstream organisations/ temporary shared accommodation. Lack of coordination to address multiple disadvantages. Lack of training to deal with multiple disadvantages. Funding: does not support links across sectors and between organisations and promote competition for clients and funding.

9 Challenges & Pitfalls Inadequate systems to assess and record BME disadvantages. The challenge is how to make the system fit the people. Definitions (race, BME, addiction, domestic violence). Not corresponding to the realities of multi-disadvantaged BME homeless people. Adult literacy funding under threat (training and activity opportunities for BME homeless individuals, including language skills).

10 Conclusions Scope for partnership: BME and Homeless sectors. Considerable support for this from within the two sectors themselves. Homeless agencies generally have a wider variety of referral sources than BME organisations. Homeless Agencies are less likely to report formal links with BME organisations than BME organisations were to Homeless Agencies; No specific studies have been conducted that examine the links between the BME and Homeless sectors. LSP: to establish links between BME organisations and Homeless agencies that can be organised under 4 broad headings – information sharing activities; partnership development activities; events and resource provision; and staff development activities. Findings and conclusions to be reported in June 2006.

11 Race on the Agenda (ROTA) Budapest October 2006 Unit 101, Cremer Business Centre 37 Cremer Street, London E2 8HD , (fax),


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