Designing Out Homelessness: Practical Steps for Business

Designing Out Homelessness: Practical Steps for Business is a toolkit for employers on how to prevent, offer help and create pathways out of homelessness.

Homelessness, visible and invisible, is rising across the UK. It takes many forms, from families living in temporary accommodation to couples and individuals sleeping on friends’ sofas, in hostels or on the streets. This toolkit was developed in collaboration with the West Midlands Homelessness Taskforce – a group of businesses, local government, and the community sector convened by Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands – to tackle the issue.

This toolkit draws on the Positive Pathways model developed by the West Midlands Homelessness Taskforce, which provides businesses with practical actions to:

  • prevent homelessness within their business and in wider society
  • provide practical support to people going through crisis or experiences of homelessness
  • create pathways to employment to help people transition to independent living.

Although Designing Out Homelessness: practical steps for business was developed in the West Midlands the lessons and practical case studies apply nationally. The toolkit includes a directory of national organisations that can provide further support. The toolkit clearly explain the role that businesses can play, alongside the public and community sector, in designing out homelessness.  As well as providing practical steps to action, this toolkit also includes case study examples from leading businesses that are innovating and working in partnership to tackle homelessness within their communities.

Business in the Community (BITC) are calling for a systematic approach to prevent people from becoming homeless, offering crisis support when needed, and creating pathways to employment for people who have experienced homelessness. From banks to builders’ merchants; from multinational law firms to social enterprises every business can have an impact. As well as the clear social impact, there is a proven business case for taking action to design out homelessness.

Find out more about the work of the West Midlands Homelessness Taskforce.

Thank you to our partners Gowling WLGSt Basils and the West Midlands Combined Authority in the writing of this toolkit.

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