Setting up and running a campaign to end street homelessness can bring many benefits to people, organisations and communities. But it can also take much time and effort before you see any progress. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t act, but it’s worth making sure a campaign is the best way forward.
What is the scale and scope of the problem?
You know there is street homelessness in your area as a result of what you see and hear, and may also sense that it is growing. There are various ways to check your perceptions and confirm the scale of the issue locally.
- Look at internal data: if you work for a homeless service provider you can review data from your own HMIS or database. If you are part of a provider network, or know others who share your concerns, ask them if they have information and data to share.
- Look at different sources of publicly available data
- You can adapt and use the template Local Homelessness Evidence & Data Summary to help identify some of the main evidence you will need locally, and whether it already exists.
What are the changes you want to achieve?
Do you or others have ideas of what might need to be done to reduce or end street homelessness locally? Many cities want to develop safe, long-term housing, and others want to improve how local providers use and share resources and data to secure better outcomes. Some want to change the law or policy at national level, as they feel that this will have the greatest impact.
While you don’t need all of the answers at this stage, it’s good to have a sense of what it is you would set up a campaign for.
Is a campaign necessary to achieve these changes?
Does an initiative already exist in your city, town or area? There may be another group or organisation doing something that you can join.
Are there other options available to you to tackle the problem? Sometimes there’s an easier way to get a result. This could be alerting the right person or government department’s attention to the problem, raising public awareness, or taking part in consultations.
If you decide that setting up a new campaign is vital then we wish you success! We hope that this Toolkit, and the information on what European Campaign cities are achieving, will support and inspire you.