New network aims to ‘shift’ power into hands of those with experience of homelessness

A national network designed to engage people with first-hand experience of homelessness is being launched today and is inviting projects or individuals to join up.

The Scottish Homelessness Involvement & Feedback Team (SHIFT) is free to join and has been developed from a local project that has been running successfully for 18 months.

SHIFT comes in the wake of the Housing and Rough Sleeping Action Group (HARSAG) recommendations, published earlier this year, a vital component of which was input from people using homelessness services across Scotland.

Its aim is to place greater power in the hands of people who use services and make it easy for anyone with experience of homelessness in Scotland to get involved in implementing the 70 recommendations that came out of HARSAG.

David Kidd, coproduction co-ordinater at The Homeless Network, which is leading the project, said: “The HARSAG recommendations were developed with input from people using homelessness services in nearly every local authority area across Scotland. That lived experience aspect is one of the strengths of the final reports. As implementation begins there will be an even greater need for us to make certain that lived experience informs what we do next to make sure this happens in a way that works for those using the services – SHIFT will be the national body that supports that.”

People working in a role that supports the participation of people experiencing homelessness or whose role supports groups with experience of homelessness can contact SHIFT and discuss the benefits of membership and ways to get involved.

For more information, or to join SHIFT, contact Michelle Major by email or phone on 0141 420 7272 or visit for more information.

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