Researchers making homelessness everyone’s business

Thursday 17 May 2012
Researchers at the University of Salford are teaming up with homelessness services and businesses in Stoke-on-Trent to forge new partnerships that will create opportunities for homeless people in the city.

At an event chaired by Sara Williams, Chief Executive of the North Staffs Chamber of Commerce and Industry, key business people and policymakers in the area will meet to hear findings from a two-year research project which proposes solutions to make a real difference to the lives of homeless people in the city.

The research has been guided throughout by representatives from the city’s homelessness service providers who want to use the findings to encourage local businesses to take an active role in addressing some of the problems that prevent people from exiting homelessness in the long-term.

Dr Philip Brown of the Salford Housing and Urban Studies Unit (SHUSU) will discuss the key findings from his team’s research which has found that, despite the often enormous disadvantages people have experienced in their lives – personalised, authentic care and real opportunities to establish independence are critical to a successful route out of homelessness.

Employers can help by offering work experience and mentoring opportunities that can prepare someone for a return to permanent employment.

The research has been led by Dr Brown with SHUSU colleagues Dr Lisa Scullion and Gareth Morris, and Professor Peter Somerville of the University of Lincoln.

It is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, Joseph Rowntree Foundation and the Department for Communities and Local Government.

Dr Brown commented: “Stoke-on-Trent has developed a reputation for its leading role in tackling rough sleeping. But, we know there is more work to be done. All in the city – including local businesses – can play an essential role in working with services in the area to create opportunities for people that will consign their homeless episodes to a dim and distant memory.”

The event will be held at the Mitchell Arts Centre, Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent on 25May from 5.30pm. For more information, please click here.

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