housing & housing services
local government
voluntary sector

Tackling Homelessness and Rough Sleeping

housing & housing services

local government

voluntary sector

08:45 - 16:20

Tuesday 11 December 2018

etc. Venues Manchester, Central Manchester

This Forum will provide delegates with the opportunity to gain policy insights regarding the implementation of the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 and the Rough Sleeping Strategy 2018. In addition, participants will hear from voluntary organisations, housing associations, and local and regional authorities leading the way in forging new, effective and innovative solutions to combat rough sleeping and homelessness across the North of England. Attendees will learn from best practice case studies around alternative funding models, working collaboratively across sectors, and implementing initiatives focused on prevention, tailored support, holistic recovery and boosting housing supply.


This Forum is specifically designed for Local Authorities, Housing Associations, and the Voluntary Sector, including:

  • Chief Executives
  • Neighborhood Managers
  • Policy and Public Affairs Officers
  • Community Services Managers
  • Directors of Housing
  • Heads of Housing Needs
  • Housing Demand Managers
  • Directors of Housing Support
  • Advice Service Managers
  • Operations Managers
  • Councillors

This Forum is also open to the Private Sector for networking purposes and to encourage debate.

Key Speakers Confirmed:
  • Chris Wood, Head of Policy, Shelter
  • Howard Sinclair, CEO, St Mungo’s 
  • Nicola Rea, Strategic Lead – Homelessness and Migration, Manchester City Council
View the agenda and additional speakers


The number of individuals considered “unintentionally homeless and in priority need” in England has risen by 48% since 2010, according to Statista, while rough sleeping has increased by 169% over the same period, according to the government’s Rough Sleeping Statistics Autumn 2017. In addition, research commissioned by Crisis warns that the number of people forced into homelessness is on course to double to half a million by 2041 unless urgent, consistent, and coordinated action is taken.

In April 2018 the Homelessness Reduction Act came into force, reflecting recognition by the government of the urgency of the issue, and placing new duties on local authorities to reduce homelessness by codifying their legal responsibility to prevent eligible residents from becoming homeless. Alongside this legislation, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has committed funding of £215 million for 2019 to reduce and prevent homelessness nationally, with an additional £30 million fund for councils across England with the highest numbers of rough sleepers. Moreover, the new legislation adopts a two-pronged approach emphasising both prevention and relief, while making it incumbent on local authorities to comprehensively assess the causes of homelessness and develop personalised intervention strategies for eligible individuals and families.

Moreover, in August 2018 the government released its rough sleeping strategy to supplement the aforementioned legislative changes and support local councils and charities in their efforts to effectively tackle homelessness and rough sleeping. The new strategy commits an additional £100 million funding and is rooted in a three-pillared approach – Prevention, Intervention and Recovery – which was developed in conjunction with the Rough Sleeping Advisory Panel. The government’s plans include closer partnership working with NHS England and Public Health England, investing in training for frontline staff, and launching pilot schemes to help those leaving prison avoid a life on the streets.

In order to properly address and eradicate the entrenched issues of homelessness and rough sleeping, it is clear that a collaborative, multi-agency approach must be undertaken, with housing associations, the voluntary sector, and central and local government working in tandem to commit to tackling this critical issue. As such, it is fundamental that these groups come together to learn about correctly implementing the measures explicated in the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017, as well as trialling new approaches such as Housing First, in order to achieve the government’s stated aim of eliminating homelessness by 2027.

Mike Wright, Strategic Lead – Homelessness, Greater Manchester Combined Authority

Mike is the lead in the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) on delivering their ambitious homelessness and rough sleeping programmes. Working across 10 local authorities and their partners to develop a GM-wide Housing First programme, a cross-sector GM Homelessness Action Network, ambitious Homelessness Prevention Trailblazer and Social Impact Bond programmes and monitoring of the Homelessness Reduction Act. Mike has been involved in homelessness for 25 years, working for Salford, Sheffield and Manchester Councils, in the voluntary sector and also for a registered provider. He was a member of Crisis’s Expert Panel whose report established the Homelessness Reduction Act, was a contributor to a report on homelessness by the Centre for Social Justice and is a member of the Local Government Homelessness Commission.

Howard Sinclair, CEO, St Mungo’s

Howard joined Broadway Homelessness and Support as Chief Executive in 2002 and became St Mungo’s Chief Executive following the merger between St Mungo’s and Broadway in April 2014.
St Mungo’s is committed to ending homelessness, particularly rough sleeping, and rebuilding lives through learning and skills, health services and interventions.
Howard is extremely proud of the quality of the service that St Mungo’s provides to clients. He said: “The passion, dedication and creativity of my colleagues at St Mungo’s never ceases to amaze me. Both in terms of my work personally, and in the aims of St Mungo’s, our motivation comes from a genuine commitment to turning people’s lives around.”

Alex McCallion, Founder and CEO, Greater Change

I’m Alex, the founder of Greater Change, a social enterprise helping people who are homeless move on. I’m a recent graduate and while at University I was struck by how many people there were who were homeless. I chatted to a lot of people, sometimes I gave food, sometimes I gave cash. I wanted to do more to support people and knew many others wanted to too. I created Greater Change so people could do more, with the idea being that if people had an effective, immediate way of giving help this could play a big part in hundreds or thousands of people leaving homelessness behind for good.

Ed Walker, Executive Director, Hope into Action

After 9 years working overseas in disaster and war affected areas, Ed Walker, then moved to the UK where he was Director of the YMCA Client Services for 3 years. He has subsequently set-up a charity called Hope into Action which enables the church to house the vulnerable. To date they have 63 homes across 19 countries with 55 church partners. Hope into Action has won many awards, including the CSJ award for 2013, Best Christian Social Action Award, 2015 (silver), Guardian Award for the best housing project in the country (2017) and Homeless Link Award for most innovative Housing project in the country (2018).

Amanda Croome, CEO, The Booth Centre

Amanda Croome is the CEO of the Booth Centre. The Booth Centre is and advice and activities based day centre in Manchester which has been operating on principles of co-production for over 20 years. Amanda worked with people at the Centre and other partners in Manchester to help establish the Manchester Homelessness Charter and Partnership. This year the Booth Centre won Homeless Link’s national excellence award for Co-production.

Paul Tanney, Chief Executive, St Leger Homes of Doncaster

Paul joined St Leger Homes in January 2017.

Paul brings a wealth of experience with him to Doncaster and has worked in the housing sector for over 30 years, the majority at Senior and Executive level.
He is the former Chief Executive of both East Durham Homes and more recently Four Housing Group.

He has been instrumental in establishing Doncaster’s Complex Lives Team and, as part of his remit, is responsible for the Council’s statutory Homeless Service.

Gemma De Brito, Head of Homes and Wellbeing, Nottingham Community Housing Association

Gemma left a career in private finance to pursue a life with a social purpose. Inspired by Nottingham Community Housing Association’s variety of support services and housing solutions for people in housing need, she joined the organisation in 2003 and has gone on to develop links with local authorities and charities to ensure that NCHA is part of the solution to homelessness in the East Midlands. NCHA manages just under 10,000 homes across the East Midlands and delivers nearly 1 million hours of care and support services annually.

Nicola Rea, Strategic Lead – Homelessness and Migration, Manchester City Council

After achieving a MSc in Personnel Management and Industrial Relations, Nicola soon discovered that her interest was actually in housing and ensuring the best services possible were delivered for vulnerable people. Subsequently gaining a post graduate in Housing, Nicola has since spent two decades working in the homeless and asylum seeker sector.

Her current role is as Strategic Lead for Homelessness and Migration for Manchester City Council; working in partnership to deliver the city’s homeless strategy and charter. She is passionate about ensuring services are now designed and co-produced with people who have insight into homelessness.

David Carter, CEO, The Whitechapel Centre

David has over 25 years experience of working in the housing and homelessness sector, having worked in local authority, housing association and charity based settings.  David has undertaken a variety of roles in supported housing, floating support, street outreach, and various management / senior management roles. He has an in-depth knowledge of housing, homelessness and related issues (trends, legislation, service needs / gaps, service development, design and innovation). Since 2008 he has been the chief executive of The Whitechapel Centre, a leading housing and homelessness charity working across the Liverpool City Region.

Chris Marsh, Complex Lives Programme Manager, Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council

Chris is an experienced practitioner in public service reform and integrated public service delivery and has driven successful conversion of policy to reformed practice at local, national and international level. He currently works as a strategic adviser on public service reform in Doncaster, and has been central to the partnership design and mobilisation of the Complex Lives Alliance as an integrated whole system operating model.

Chris Wood, Head of Policy, Shelter

Chris Wood has been Head of Policy at housing charity Shelter since September 2018. Before that he led a team at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government working on strategic planning and implementation of the government’s housing policy. Chris has a PhD in the application of social capital theory to government policy. He has previously worked in policy, strategy and research roles in a range of charities, including successfully overturning cuts to hearing aid provision as Policy Manager at Action on Hearing Loss (formerly the RNID).


Registration, Refreshments and Networking


Chair's Welcome Address

Rick Henderson, Chief Executive Officer, Homeless Link, and Member, National Rough Sleeping Advisory Panel (CONFIRMED)


Morning Keynote: Effectively Reducing and Working Towards Eliminating Rough Sleeping and Homelessness

  • Explaining the frontline work of St Mungo’s in striving to eradicate homelessness and advocating an inclusive, empowering, recovery-based approach rooted in the unique skills and assets of clients
  • Sharing aims and mechanisms of delivery regarding St Mungo’s 2016-2021 strategy for tackling homelessness; maximising positive outcomes within an increasingly exigent operating environment
  • Overcoming financial challenges due to reduced government assistance by innovating new ways to finance growth, such as Social Investment Bond (SIB) funding models
  • Working with, and providing best practice information for, local authorities across a range of policy areas in order to improve homeless support services and solutions

Howard Sinclair, CEO, St Mungo’s (CONFIRMED)


Special Keynote: Effectively Tackling Homelessness through Preventative, Integrated and Comprehensive Services

  • Evaluating the success of the 2013-2018 homelessness strategy, and formulating policy priorities for the next 5 years in light of changes introduced by the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017
  • Working as part of the Manchester Homelessness Partnership to develop co-produced strategies with the voluntary sector, police, health sector, community and faith groups, businesses and universities
  • Reporting on the implementation and outcomes of the ‘Housing First’ Manchester pilot scheme, and detailing how £418k in central government funding for specialist staff to work with young rough sleepers and offenders has been utilised
  • Adopting a renewed focus on preventative strategies to reduce homelessness, and working to enhance inter-service collaboration and integration to maximise effectiveness

Nicola Rea, Strategic Lead – Homelessness and Migration, Manchester City Council (CONFIRMED)


Questions and Answers Session


Refreshments and Networking


Case Study: Providing Outstanding Support Services to Homeless Families and Individuals

  • Understanding that there is no “one-size-fits-all” solution, owing to the diverse routes into homelessness; operating a variety of support services to reflect this reality and ensuring nobody slips through the net
  • Preventing 955 people in Liverpool from becoming homeless in 2015/16, and ensuring 99% of people new to rough sleeping did not spend another night on the streets through the Street Outreach programme
  • Working collaboratively with partner organisations to deliver effective support for vulnerable and at-risk people, such as jointly operating the highly successful Belvidere Family Centre with SHAP
  • Sharing lessons around securing £10 million funding for the Peer Mentoring and New Beginnings schemes as part of the Big Lottery-backed Liverpool Waves of Hope programme

David Carter, CEO, The Whitechapel Centre (CONFIRMED)


Case Study: Utilising the Housing First Approach to Reduce Homelessness

  • Explaining the philosophical principles underlying the Housing First approach, and articulating the abundant international evidence-base supporting its implementation
  • Committing to the Housing First approach to reduce homelessness, with £9 million allocated to more than 450 locations across Greater Manchester
  • Understanding how individuals can access Housing First accommodation, and how charities and other support groups can refer individuals in need
  • Assessing how the Housing First approach will work in a multi-agency context; examining the potential for greater impact through collaboration with the NHS, social services and the voluntary sector in order to address complex needs

Mike Wright, Strategic Lead – Homelessness, Greater Manchester Combined Authority (CONFIRMED)


Case Study: Achieving Excellence in Co-Production to Reduce Homelessness

  • Outlining the current landscape of homelessness in Greater Manchester, where rough sleeping has quadrupled since 2010; discussing the causes of this increase
  • Providing insight to the work of the Booth Centre, including: helping to find accommodation, securing employment, providing support in tackling health and addiction issues, and running creative activities to boost confidence
  • Advocating the necessity of adopting a collaborative approach and cultivating multi-agency partnerships in providing homelessness care and support, such as the Manchester Homelessness Partnership
  • Sharing the difficulties of this approach, including failures in communication, and exploring potential remedies to enhance future service provision

Awarded 1st place for Excellence in Co-Production at the 2018 Homeless Link Excellence Awards for their work with Manchester City Council, Urban Village Medical Practice, and Shelter

Amanda Croome, CEO, The Booth Centre (CONFIRMED)


Questions and Answers Session


Lunch and Networking


Afternoon Keynote: Tackling Homelessness Through Social Housing - Shelter's Big Conversation

  • Highlighting the reasons driving homelessness, including private rental costs and insecurity, the dearth of social housing and the ongoing freeze of housing benefit
  • Setting out some of the findings from Shelter’s Big Conversation about social housing
  • Examining ways in which reforms and investment in social housing could help tackle homelessness

Chris Wood, Head of Policy, Shelter (CONFIRMED)


Case Study: Providing Effective Digital Solutions to Tackle Homelessness

  • Establishing Greater Change, an innovative new approach to tackling the problems of rough sleeping and homelessness in the cashless economy
  • Outlining the problems associated with giving cash to those sleeping rough, such as the risk of funding and prolonging addiction, the potential for professional begging, no scope for gift aid or matched funding, and the lack of a long-term solution
  • Adopting a brand new approach to donating to the homeless utilising contactless payment, as well as providing additional non-financial support to help people back into employment and secure housing
  • Working with an Oxford-based software development company to develop an app allowing members of the public to make donations to rough sleepers via their phones using a digital QR code
  • Detailing plans for future with regards to rolling out the pilot scheme across the country and developing new ways to enable and encourage alternative giving

Alex McCallion, Founder and CEO, Greater Change (CONFIRMED)


Questions and Answers Session


Refreshments and Networking


Case Study: Developing Innovative Housing Solutions to Homelessness for Vulnerable People

  • Enabling churches to provide affordable, quality accommodation for homeless people with multiple, complex needs; providing mentoring and links with the community to support effective reintegration into society
  • Addressing the relational barriers faced by homeless people by allowing them to develop strong, positive relationships to bring about a full, holistic recovery
  • Adopting a theory of change which measures success along 6 outcomes: maintaining tenancy, abstaining from crime, reducing alcohol and drug intake, improving social relations, undertaking education/training/employment, and enhancing financial management
  • Utilising an investment capital model of funding as a 21st century method of sharing wealth with the needy and effectively tackling homelessness

Housing winner of the Guardian Public Service Awards 2017, and 1st place for Innovation in Housing at the Homeless Link Excellence Awards 2018

Ed Walker, Executive Director, Hope into Action (CONFIRMED)


Case Study: Establishing Multi-Agency Partnerships to Reduce Rough Sleeping and Homelessness

  • Understanding that the problem of homelessness is multi-faceted and fits into a broader web of issues which need to be addressed collaboratively by a variety of organisational partners
  • Working closely with the Complex Lives Alliance to develop a whole systems approach, underpinned by a person-centred, asset based service model, to effectively tackle rough sleeping and homelessness
  • Supporting the Doncaster ‘Housing Plus Pathway’ initiative by providing a single, coordinated point of access for people living complex lives
  • Preventing people from losing their homes through the Mortgage Breathing Space scheme, offered in partnership with Doncaster Council and Wakefield Council

Winner of Northern Housing Awards 2018 for ‘Best Initiative for Tackling Homelessness’

Paul Tanney, Chief Executive, St Leger Homes of Doncaster, and Chris Marsh, Complex Lives Programme Manager, Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council  (CONFIRMED)


Case Study: Effectively Tackling Homelessness as a Housing Association

  • Joining the Homes for Cathy alliance of housing associations dedicated to tackling homelessness
  • Recognising the link between domestic abuse and homelessness; acting to confront this challenge by providing specialist domestic abuse services in Nottingham, Derbyshire and Lincolnshire
  • Supporting vulnerable tenants’ benefit claims and offering debt advisory services to prevent homelessness
  • Maintaining positive working relationships with local organisations and health and social care providers to co-develop new and innovative support services
  • Working closely with local authorities to fulfil the Duty to Refer, and encouraging local authorities to be more proactive in trying to stop evictions

Gemma De Brito, Head of Homes and Wellbeing, Nottingham Community Housing Association (CONFIRMED)


Questions and Answers Session


Chair's Closing Remarks

*programme subject to change

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