Social Integration and Education Services for Homeless People: Key lessons from two service models in the United Kingdom

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


The debates around the effectiveness of Housing First services are coming to an end, as the global evidence base, including the evaluation of At Home/Chez Soi, shows sustained successes in ending long term homelessness, associated with high support needs, across a wide range of countries with varied health and welfare systems. Yet while it has become apparent that Housing First can end homelessness and sustain housing for large numbers of long-term homeless people, several questions still exist about what then happens once re-housing has occurred. These questions are humanitarian, practical and political and all centre on what, in European terms, is referred to as a lack of social integration, i.e. being outside the formal economy, neighbourhood/community and lacking social and emotional support from friends, family and a partner. The humanitarian questions centre on overcoming what can be long periods of stigmatisation, alienation, isolation, poor social and emotional supports and a lack of economic inclusion, including access to adequately paid work. The practical questions are related, centring on the quality of life of people who have been rehoused by Housing First services and the various risks to health, well-being and, in turn to housing sustainment, if social integration is only partial or does not occur. The political questions also centre on a lack of social integration, both in the sense of community and societal cohesion, but also on reducing the costs of what might be termed “post-homelessness” to welfare and health systems, by maximising formerly homeless people’s capacity to look after, and pay for, themselves. This presentation explores the key lessons from three innovative service models focused on promoting social integration for homeless people currently operating in Europe. These include the Emmaus community social enterprise model, the Time Banking co-production model of sharing and exchange and a dedicated programme of education, training and employment services for homeless people called Crisis Skylight, all of which are operating in the UK.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusUnpublished - 3 Nov 2014
EventCanadian Alliance to End Homelessness Conference - Canada, Vancouver, Canada
Duration: 3 Nov 20145 Nov 2014


ConferenceCanadian Alliance to End Homelessness Conference


  • Homelessness
  • Employment

Cite this