Because of this, advice centres, day centres and local authorities will be under increasing pressure to create and improve services and policies to meet demand. Moving beyond the immediate disaster relief of Covid - we need permanent solutions to really break the cycle of homelessness.
In order to do so, we need to listen to and work with those who are best placed to re-imagine the solutions. People who have experienced homelessness themselves.
We will offer paid opportunities, training and development support particularly to those who have lived experience of homelessness and are interested in leading, facilitating and participating in collaborative processes to tackle the issue. We will also support service-providers and policy-makers to feel comfortable and confident in this process.
National charity Homeless Link says:
"Full co-production means sharing power – giving people who use services an equal chance to sit at the table and make decisions about how to run it better. It means building up their confidence and developing their skills so that they can participate fully... Some organisations are taking steps towards this, but not many have got there yet."
This is why we are building a community of people with lived experience of homelessness who will shape and lead our organisation and support policy and service-designers to co-produce truly user-led, effective services.
We will provide meaningful employment within our organisation and ensure that those with lived experience are the ones shaping customer briefs and leading the co-production process.
People with lived experience can also choose to participate in activities such as surveys, workshops, peer-research, and peer-recruitment. Those who participate are remunerated and offered further training and development support.
Tony McKenzie is the Member Involvement Co-ordinator at Crisis. He has supported, advised and collaborated with us from the beginning of our journey. He has given us this testimonial:
"I was immediately impressed with their passion and commitment to the concept of co-production, ensuring the voices of people with lived experience of homelessness are not only listened to, but also acted upon, and their dedication to getting it right.
I have worked alongside Power With and fully endorse their idea of a co-production agency. I love their ethos of testing out their ideations to get the best fit rather than just down the route of least resistance. The team packs a wealth of knowledge and experience and I view them as assets to ending homelessness for all.
Going forward, ones to watch; I truly believe that they will bring a much needed authenticity and warmth to the sector."
We consist of three co-founders:
Alice has a deep understanding of the homelessness sector cultivated through six years frontline experience at Crisis and the Cardinal Hume Centre. She also co-designed and runs an employability programme for social enterprise Connection Crew.
Carolina has five years experience conducting participatory action research in local and international settings and took the lead on the co-production element of a consultancy project for Crisis.
Laura has experience supporting those living with homelessness and co-existing conditions at St. Mungos and St. Petrocs by facilitating creative workshops in these settings.
Be able to practice what we preach, hence we will start by building a trusting community of experts by experience and that will help shape our organisation. We want to provide them with opportunities to build on their skills and have their voices listened to and genuinely acted on. Your financial support will enable us to do so in an ethical way.
Covid has prompted our society to take a bold step in homelessness by housing thousands of rough sleepers in hotels. We believe that the opportunity to continue finding bold solutions should not be wasted.
Please keep in touch and up-to-date with our progress on linked in and twitter.
NB: A 4.75% levy will be applied to donations, to help cover TFN/Year Here's costs of supporting venture fundraising and administering the funding