A safe place to call home

Our three year strategy for supporting homeless women

In 2018 we published the report Seeing the unseen.

The women who bravely shared their experiences as part of this research highlighted the risks of abuse and exploitation, as well as the many barriers to accessing support. Their words told us we needed to do more.

Since launching the report, we’ve changed the way we work with women. In 2019 we appointed a women’s services development manager as well as two specialist workers for women. 10% of our supported housing is now allocated for women and we’ve launched our first female-only properties. We’re also providing training to other organisations on best practices when working with homeless women and have published a toolkit for professionals based on our learnings.

This work has already made a difference but Covid-19 has posed an even more urgent threat for female rough sleepers and women at risk of homelessness.

Our three-year strategy lays out how we will tackle these challenges by expanding and improving the support available to homeless women in Kent.

Our three-year strategy

Over the next three years we want to prevent homelessness by working with women earlier in their journeys and making them more aware of the support available. We also aim to become a leading provider of rough sleeping and homelessness services in Kent tailored to the needs of women.

How we’ll achieve this

We will provide safe housing-related services for women by

  • Launching a Housing First scheme for women who are entrenched rough sleepers or experiencing other forms of long-term homelessness, with a particular focus on supporting women who have experienced violence and abuse
  • Continuing to grow and develop the rapid rehousing fund, providing emergency accommodation or a fresh start in private rented accommodation for vulnerable women with nowhere else to go and no access to other funds

We will provide specialist workers for women by

  • Developing more specialist worker roles to support women who are sleeping rough or at risk of homelessness to secure accommodation
  • Continuing to help develop the role and influence of Porchlight’s domestic abuse and modern slavery and human trafficking champions, with a specific focus on understanding and responding to the needs of women.

We will provide specialist non-housing interventions for women by

  • Developing emotional support services for women
  • Supporting homeless women to better manage their health and personal hygiene and to access health services.
  • Developing more activities, spaces, and groups that appeal to the women we support

Find out more about our work with women and how you can get involved as part of our Safe place campaign.