Five homeless service professionals from the United States and five from the United Kingdom are spending two weeks this spring studying approaches to ending homelessness across the pond. It is called the Transatlantic Practice Exchange, and the Alliance is partnering with Homeless Link and the Oak Foundation to facilitate this amazing opportunity.
Many of these motivated and passionate professionals are blogging about their experiences and learnings while they’re abroad. Below is a rundown of their blogs, which I hope you’ll spend a moment perusing. And be sure to follow all the participants as they share their insight on Twitter using #homelesslearning!
- You may find yourself nodding you head vigorously along with Jonny Goldsmith’s blog on why a Housing First, client-centered approach is needed in the UK. He is studying permanent supportive housing with Pathways to Housing DC.
- Anna Litt writes she believes in housing first “with all my heart and mind,” but acknowledges it can be challenging to help clients sustain their housing. She writes about what she hopes to learn from her placement with the Tenancy Sustainment team at Thames Reach in London on her blog.
- Erika Schmale is studying outreach strategies with Framework in Nottingham, and recently shared her wishlist of folks she wants to interview, data she wants to analyze, and processes she wants to observe.
- Tedd Peso is studying youth homelessness prevention at St. Basil’s in Birmingham, England. Tedd is blogging about an innovative coordinated assessment site called Youth HUB, as well as the entire Positive Pathways framework utilized by St. Basil.
- We know youth experiencing homelessness often drift between literally homeless (by HUD’s definition) in shelters or on the street and couch surfing (what we’d call “at risk”). Rachel Yoder writes in her blog about how we might adopt a tool used by her host agency, Depaul UK, to assess the levels of risk couch surfing youth are exposed to.
- James McCombe is studying rapid re-housing for youth with Northwest Youth Services’ in Bellingham, WA. In his blog he writes passionately about inequality and the impact on communities, as well as humorously about his upcoming placement amongst the grizzly bears in Northwest Washington.
- Heather Yeadon is studying with Central City Concern in Portland, OR. She is part of a working group in her community that is tackling the question of what interventions are appropriate for households that are in middle – not the highest needs or lowest needs – what we might call “episodically homeless.” She’ll be undertaking this issue on her blog when her placement starts in June.
- Steph Ratcliffe is studying initiatives to house frequent users of multiple systems, particularly health care, with Housing for Health LA. Steph writes about why, “there are no real housing solutions unless they come with healthcare solutions” in her first blog.