Established 2005 Registered Charity No. 1110656

Scottish Charity Register No. SC043760

current issue



What next?

September 01 2020

Ian Kalman calls for more people with lived experience of homelessness to get involved in Government and Local Authority decision-making

I am sure some of you will be asking the question is 'What is going to happen next?' I remember when the lockdown first happened, I dreaded it, thinking that I would be totally bored as my usual routine had come to an end, I was to be trapped in my one room. Then I got an invite to be part of a National Advisory Panel run by Expert Link, comprising around 15 people with lived experience of homelessness from all over the country. That’s kept me busy.

We sent out a survey during lockdown, but as usual a person who is on the Government’s Rough Sleeping Task Force asked us not to do it. Even so, we did get some replies and the surprise for me was that a good percentage wanted to be in a centrally-placed hotel instead of their own place or the place they had in a hostel. I now know in Leeds a 100-bed hotel was purchased for the people in that city, unfortunately it is on the outskirts of the city which makes transport difficult, and some people felt this has not been taken into consideration.

Get involved: Solomon and the team from Brixton Soup Kitchen have provided 1000s of meals during lockdown for people who are homeless, elderly or needy across London. When open again there are lawyers in the soup kitchen providing free legal resources every Thursday evening. Check website for when it restarts

Now the government has released a large amount of money, almost £200 million, it must be managed by an organisation, but one of the conditions is that it should include co-production. Co-production means the groups bidding for the Government money need people with experience of homelessness to be consulted and that their opinion must be taken into consideration. In reality those people should be part of any panel making big decisions. I would like to know what is happening in London - or anywhere else. Please email me and tell me your experience. My email is