A Guest Blog from Taff Housing
Already a successful community-based Housing Association with over 1300 homes, we are an organisation committed to equality of opportunity, and keen to promote diversity in employment and service delivery.
Taff Housing have a mission to deliver flexible, innovative and responsive customer service, and doing so we equip our staff with the tools to deliver an ethical and efficient service to our customers and will expect the highest standards at all times. This involves utilising Locality Solutions cloud based management system, which improves operating services in sectors such as Housing and Criminal Justice Sectors. Locality Solutions intuitive application enables true collaboration, information sharing and, multi-agency working for safer, more cohesive communities.
Establishing efficient in-house collaboration and partnership work, we wanted to extend this to creating a network for European homeless citizens. We are achieving this through collaboration with European agencies to deliver an access point to share key practice and development.
Homelessness and migration across Europe
Collaboration and partnership is essential in our latest project; the European Homeless Mobile Citizens Network (EHMCN). We implemented processes for major European agencies working within EU migrant homelessness in creating a web resource to provide information and helpful practices to support mobile citizens.
We collaborated with eight European agencies to create a permanent resource for those working with EU migrant homelessness and destitution. This venture has involved working with FEANTSA AISBL, Brussels to PRAKSIS in Greece. In conjunction, we also collaborated with Locality solution in building this site to create a prominent resource for individuals to use.
Need for intervention
In 2013 28 % of the total number of rough sleepers in London were from Central and Eastern Europe, 11 % were from other European Union Member States. According to a recent report, in Copenhagen 213 homeless rough sleepers were from Eastern European EU-countries. Evidence also shows that when those people return to their home country they experience homelessness when they arrive.
There is an obvious need for intervention and support which would benefit many individuals. Therefore, we created sustainable and targeted solutions found through a partnership between organisations working with homeless people both in the countries of origin and countries of destination. Consequently, we have collaborated with organisations, in a structured and effective way to create a support based network. With the EHMCN working on this specific issue, organisations are helped to find the better solution for individuals.
Creation of a network
The right to free movement is one of the fundamental rights of EU citizens. As people permanently are establishing new lives abroad a contribution of wealth and growth is supplied to the host country. Nonetheless, this movement can become a poverty trap to EU citizens that are moving to another member state. These individuals can face various difficulties in accessing the right support and as such can become homeless and destitute. Their vulnerable situation is closely related to EU policies and legislation as well as internal migration law.
To advise and support EU citizens who face the many efforts of moving to another country we created an effective European network. The network has proved to be effective in enabling better solutions for individuals, contributing support and advice to mobile citizens and thus creating a network which delivers change through better support.
Collaboration and partnership approach with European partner agencies
An effective European network provides paramount support in terms of exchange of experience and policy development. Working with organisations who provide support services to homeless individuals both in countries of origin and of destination was vital to establishing a sustainable and targeted solution. This accomplished through effective partnership and collaboration of all agencies.
A network as a whole is greater than the sum of the parts, thus the EHMCN facilitates the better solution for individuals through support integration of the country where they moved or, through re-connection of their countries of origin that effectively prevent them from being socially excluded.
Technology support through Locality
As Locality Solutions has provided effective collaboration enabling multi-agency working within Taff housing, we thought it obvious to bring them into a project which requires just that. Effective partnership and collaboration between European partner agencies for efficient and supportive solutions.
Locality Solutions produced a streamlined website which offers a permanent resource for all those working with EU migrant homelessness and destitution including Taff Housing. Permitting all agencies involved to share information and draft models of good practice and policy recommendations.
Furthermore, the web resource has the ability to gather information about each EU migrant, recording essential information such as where the site has been accessed from and potentially where they are moving. Documenting key information concerning mobile citizens.