Centre For Homelessness Impact joins forces with Comic Relief

Centre For Homelessness Impact joins forces with Comic Relief

The Centre For Homelessness Impact (CHI) has forged a new partnership with Comic Relief to accelerate its work to bring a ‘what works’ approach to ending homelessness in more communities across the United Kingdom.

Comic Relief will put £600,000 towards the partnership over a three-year period, under its Change Makers programme, and CHI will invest the same amount.

Local authorities and voluntary and community sector (VCS) practitioners are keen to incorporate data and evidence into their work to relieve and prevent homelessness but this can be difficult to do with some programmes or in some local circumstances. CHI’s role is to work with them to do this well.

CHI was set up in 2018 to support local authorities and other organisations working in homelessness by analysing the evidence base from across the world on what works to end homelessness and advising on how to implement these findings in a cost-effective way.

This new partnership with Comic Relief will enable CHI to expand this work further, working with more front-line organisations to support their efforts to reduce and end homelessness in the UK.

CHI will also extend its work with community groups and grassroots organisations to build capacity and support for work to end homelessness.

The partnership with Comic Relief’s new Change Makers programme will aid Covid recovery by allowing CHI to target bespoke support for organisations across the homelessness sector that have been hit hardest by the pandemic.

This will help to accelerate change in the homelessness sector, fostering a culture of learning in which data and evidence will be used to help improve outcomes on an ongoing basis and move the UK closer to ending homelessness for good.

CHI will use the support to:

  • Support and mobilise front line practitioners by extending its What Works Community initiative which provides expert support in behavioural insights, design thinking, and data-informed decision making, helping people who work in the homelessness sector tackle their toughest homelessness challenges by using robust evidence and data more effectively.
  • Promote the use of evidence and data to end homelessness for good by growing its ‘End it with evidence’ campaign which brings together champions from academia, government, and the not for profit sector.
  • Host a free learning festival twice a year to give people the chance to hear from experts with lived experience of homelessness, charity leaders and front-line staff, and policy makers, and provides a unique opportunity to discuss how evidence can be used to end homelessness.
  • Grow the What Works Media Programme, led by experts with lived experience, to harness the power of non-fiction storytelling and filmmaking to highlight ‘what works’ to tackle homelessness effectively. It will showcase the activities of people in communities across the country who are driving change. The programme will include an annual Impact Prize for the best piece of written or video-based reportage – whether by a journalist, practitioner or person with lived experience - on what works in tackling homelessness.
  • Bring together senior practitioners, experts, influencers and thought leaders who share the Centre’s commitment to ending homelessness with evidence by establishing an Ambassadors Network to build support for the Centre’s vision through publications and speaking engagements.

Dr Lígia Texeira, CEO of the Centre for Homelessness Impact, said: “It can be hard to change the way we do things or to take stock and consider what the evidence base tells us. Our aim is to work with a growing movement of people committed to asking themselves what works to end homelessness, to turning these insights into practical programmes and to sharing this approach with others.

“This is why we are so pleased to be working with Comic Relief by joining its Change Makers programme.

“It will enable us to scale our work to support organisations and individuals working in homelessness to make decisions based on the best available data and taking into account research evidence of what works to end homelessness once and for all.”

Samir Patel, CEO of Comic Relief, added: “It’s fantastic that through our new Change Makers programme we are able to support 20 ‘game changing’ projects that are working with thousands of vulnerable people and families throughout the UK. Each project aims to provide vital long-term support and make a real positive impact on communities hardest hit by the pandemic.”

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