Policy, Activism and Politics

Daphne Street to Home

Street to Home The Birmingham City University led Daphne project, Street to Home, is coming to its conclusion. This project is funded by the European Commission Directorate-General for Justice, Daphne programme.

Street to Home looks at the support needs of vulnerable women, aiming to address the lack of integrated approaches to housing and ongoing social support for women at the highest risk of being victims of violence.

The team, managed by SREU Director Professor Morag MacDonald, involves collaboration with researchers and practitioners from five countries across Europe as follows:

All partners were tasked with investigating the housing and accompanying support needs of vulnerable women in their respective countries. The vulnerable women referred to in the project included the following key target groups:

  • Women experiencing violence and abuse
  • Women offenders
  • Women with mental health issues
  • Women engaged in sex work
  • Women with problematic drug use

Previous research has shown that women in these groups have multiple needs and are likely to have experience of the criminal justice system. Often, the journey through the criminal justice system does not meet the multiple needs of these women, which tends to result in a cycle of re-offending.

Aims of research

The principle aims of the project were to develop an evidence base, collect examples of best practice, and formulate recommendations to inform policy and practice, with a view to facilitating the establishment of specialised housing and support services, to divert women from the threat of violence and abuse.

Method of research

The project was divided into a number of discrete work packages designed to provide an overview of current provisions in the partner countries and to put forward recommendations for future service development both in the partner countries and across the EU. One of the central tasks of the partners was to gather stories from women who have experience of existing provisions in their country. These narratives provide a powerful counterpoint to the accompanying academic work.

Findings and outcomes

Partners have undertaken an analysis of existing provision in their respective countries and produced individual reports documenting their findings. The UK partners have evaluated an ‘informal agreement’ between a social housing provider and a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), offering support to women and children referred to them by a number of services including the Probation Trust.

The evaluation comprised a qualitative phase that included a series of interviews with key stakeholders based at each organisation and with women recipients of the joint initiative. The second phase was the development of a Cost Benefit Analysis that highlights the impact of the housing provision and social support provided by the two partners. The results of the evaluation were made available at the UK Country Seminar, which took place in Birmingham on 14 May 2014. A range of policy makers and professionals attended the event, hosted at Midland Heart. You can download a summary copy of the evaluation report, entitled ‘Breaking the Cycle’.

Application of research

The purpose of the research was to assess current provisions in the partner countries, highlight instances of best practice and put forward recommendations to achieve a minimum level of provision across the EU in a vision document. The end-of-project seminar was held in October 2014 as part of the annual European Federation of National Organisations Working with the Homeless (FEANTSA) conference in Bergamo.

There are some more immediate results to report: as a result of its engagement with the project, Midland Heart is to establish an apprenticeship scheme dedicated to women with complex needs. In addition, plans are under way to replicate the establishment of a social enterprise hotel in Birmingham as a result of visiting a similar project in Bergen, Norway. The Street to Home project concluded in December 2014. Visit the project website to keep up to date with latest project developments.

Homelessness

Confronting homelessness in the EU

Project partners of the Daphne Street to Home project convened in Bergamo, Italy in October 2014 to present their findings.
Confronting homelessness in the EU >>

Woman Handcuffed

Vicki Pryce speaks

A key events of the Daphne Street to Home project was the UK Country Seminar. The guest speaker at the event was Vicky Pryce.
Vicki Pryce speaks >>