Everyone Home collective outlines priorities to tackle homelessness 

21 January 2022
Everyone's Home Platform for Change

Leading homelessness charities, academics, and people with personal experience of homelessness this month published their Platform for Change 2022, outlining urgent priorities for the coming year to mitigate the scale and experience of homelessness during the ongoing pandemic. 

The Everyone Home collective, 35 organisations who came together to mitigate the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on homelessness, aims to push for greater progress on key fronts in 2022. 

Everyone Home’s new Platform for Change sets out the key priorities for understanding homelessness as the public health issue it is, and centring housing and homelessness in Scotland’s recovery from COVID-19. 

Maggie Brünjes, chief executive of Homeless Network Scotland, said:  

“The pandemic brought into sharp focus how linked our home, health and wellbeing are and shone a brighter light on rough sleeping as the public health emergency it always was.” 

At the start of the pandemic, Everyone Home established three key measures to mitigate the scale and impacts of homelessness during and following of the pandemic. These priorities are 

  • More homes for good health: providing affordable, appropriate housing to meet individuals’ specific needs. 
  • No return to rough sleeping: building preventative systems to make sure people aren’t put in a position where they’re left without shelter, regardless of history, immigration status or complex needs. 
  • No evictions into homelessness: intervening through financial and legal measures to protect people’s right to housing.

As Brünjes said, 

“Emergency legislation introduced in the Scottish Parliament early in the pandemic played a vital role in protecting people’s homes – and may in part have contributed to the reduction in homelessness reported during the first year of lockdown.” 

Following two years where emergency responses to homelessness increased in speed and reach in response to the demands of lockdown and COVID safety, the challenge is to keep pace and make sure that positive changes are built on in the coming years.

The collective has named several key areas for action in 2022, including reducing poverty, building joined up public sector approaches, rapid rehousing, improving access to housing and social welfare, connecting in health and social care partners, centring lived experience and community support, implementing existing policy and approaches, and tackling resistance to change head on. 

Chief Executive of Cyrenians, Ewan Aitken, said,

“These priorities are the very least we need to shift the dial from reacting to homelessness to proactively preventing it occurring or re-occurring.  It's not all we need to end homelessness, but it's a very good start!” 

You can read Everyone Home’s Platform for Change 2022 in full here.