‘Safety by Experience’ was born out of a clear gap in provision and support for women experiencing homelessness, violence and abuse and other forms of multiple disadvantage. The project has sought out to address these key issues and questions, by consulting with staff and women in St Mungo’s services and building on existing tools and resources from across the homelessness and women’s specialist sectors. As a result, we have created, “Keeping Us Safer: An Approach for Supporting Homeless Women Experiencing Multiple Disadvantage”, a practical and holistic approach to supporting women experiencing homelessness and multiple disadvantage, which includes tailored guidance around risk assessment and safety planning, for women living in and accessing homelessness services and those who are sleeping rough.
St Mungo’s Women’s Strategy is designed to address the ways in which women experience homelessness differently from men, equipping us to achieve equally positive outcomes with our female clients.
Our biggest challenge is creating an environment of physical and psychological safety for our female clients. Women face disproportionate risk of harm from people they love and trust as well as the dangers of homelessness. We know that expecting women to thrive in traditional, male-dominated homelessness services is not good enough.
Our ambitious new strategic aims are designed to ensure that each of our female clients has a safe place to live and has every reason to feel safe in our services. Establishing safety is the foundation for recovery and the only way that we can successfully achieve the positive outcomes that our female clients deserve.
Read our Women’s Strategy.
Sleeping rough is dangerous for everyone. Women sleeping rough carry the added burden of gender-based violence and abuse before, during, and after their time on the streets. Hiding from harm can mean that women are hidden from help and missing from homelessness services and statistics.
To explore how we can understand and end women’s rough sleeping, St Mungo’s commissioned researchers from the University of York Centre for Housing Policy, Joanne Bretherton and Nicholas Pleace, to conduct a rapid evidence review.
The report presents fresh analysis of data from London and across England, alongside new research with women who have slept rough.
Read the summary report here or download the full report below.
In November 2014 we launched the Rebuilding Shattered Lives final report. This marked the culmination of 18 months of research and campaigning to get the right help at the right time to women who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.
This update briefing explores the impact of the campaign to date, and identifies the required next steps.