Work like ours is often measured by 'hard outcomes': how many clients have successfully been re-housed or how many clients have successfully given up drugs or alcohol.

But many of the vulnerable men and women we work with are at a stage where 'hard outcomes' are unrealistic. St Mungo's therefore recognised the need to develop more attainable goals for our clients; enabling them to feel they were moving onwards and upwards, whether or not they were ready to take the big steps into training, work or resettlement. We led the sector in developing the measurement of 'soft outcomes' for these homeless clients.

The Outcomes Star looks at ten different areas of a person's life. With their keyworkers, clients rate their own progress in each area. The Star is now the leading outcome measurement tool in the homelessness sector, and is being adapted for use with other vulnerable client groups. It is advocated as an example of good practice by Central Government and an increasing number of London Local Authorities.

We talk regularly to the people who experience our services and provide training so they can participate actively in our client involvement process. This includes annual satisfaction surveys, regular meetings (from project to board level), and an annual user conference.

We pride ourselves on our innovations. As the problems of vulnerable people on the street change, our services and projects need to change too so that we can provide effective help.