The Network commenced our initiative in 2020, further to both our Bournemouth area (a location that is important for both the size of it’s LGBT homeless/’sofa surfing’ and at risk of anti-LGBT+ homelessness, and general homeless community) direct knowledge in the locality of a dearth of action, wont of earnestness & focus (including particularly a ‘NON-joined up approach’), preventative effective education and training support for relevant community & sector service provider support.
The final trigger for our action — which is centred on community members good mental health- supportive educational interventions, and progressive implementation of a ‘joined up approach of the relevant primary homeless community support sector’ — arose from our contact by the national level LGBTIQA+ Greens section of the UK Green Party, through a LGBT+ related survey the LGBTIQA+ Greens section asked the Network to complete.
It was from our Bournemouth area experience — and subsequently national level UK research — conclusion, that whilst there are incredible areas of ‘from the community to the community’ support and specialism for some aspects of LGBT+ & LGBTQ+ homelessness and at risk of homelessness, existing work & services (such as particularly, but not limited to Albert Kennedy Trust), these continue to be minimised in their potential due to (in no particular order as All are interconnected):
1: Entrenchment of — through an accountable but disastrous wont of earnestness/focus where LGBT community members support is concerned — the absolutely essential factor of a comprehensive pan-homeless & at risk of homelessness community joined-up approach by homeless AND at risk of homelessness & ‘sofa surfing’ community support services statutory [local councils to NHS and UK Government departments] and voluntary sectors where LGBT+ related engagement and support, is concerned.
2: Lack of clarity and emphasis of the centrally important matter of community members good mental health recovery and the latter’s mental health self-empowerment which is central to that recovery and moving from the position of homelessness and at risk of homelessness to a subsequently full and rewarding life. Associated with this lack of clarity & emphasis, minimal [to date: April 2022] NHS policy and operational level support, AND relevant direct community created resources & training to assist the major needs of the latter.
3: That it is a fact that in this area of especially needful and vulnerable LGBTQ+ community good mental health support recovery, that in regard to Point 1. above, that currently at UK Government, Department of Health & Social Care level — and to some extent NHS England down to NHS foundation Trusts priorities and planning level (and with county & national Public Health England [PHE] level — that we find that anti-LGBT community forces and factors supportive to ‘conversion therapy’ are still highly active (as shown through a recent 2,000+ Christian & other religious faiths groups signed more conservative anti-LGBT inclined petition to the UK Government Foreign Secretary and Equalities Secretary, Ms Liz Truss.
4: That the traditional — and to still a large extent the contemporary, homeless community support sector is extensively influenced at at operational services given location level — homeless community voluntary sector has a major religious associated element (that in many, but of course Not all cases) has historic associations with conduct and controlling at in-family and socio-cultural group level, anti-LGBT values & perspectives, including good mental health harming de-facto ‘anti-LGBT supportive conversion therapy & indoctrination of minors and adults,’ practices.
As such these directly religious associated groups and organisation constitute an at best ‘dead hand’ and at worst subliminal level inhibiting factor where serious support on dedicated, effective LGBTQ+ homeless community support is concerned — these ‘holding-back from meaningful direct LGBTQ+ homeless and at risk of homeless support’ factors across the UK and Ireland are a de-facto reality in regard to the latter.
5: De-facto ‘holding back’ of dedicated ‘joined-up’ homeless support sector organisations for our ‘LGBTQ+ homeless community’ takes many forms: this including, for instance, in particular de-facto ‘denial’ in terms of decisions on the most Not credible [for those serious in earnestness about LGBT community members support] grounds, in regarding to Not backing creating and instituting dedicated supportive policy and operational level delivery of support — through institution of appropriated dedicated support mechanisms/sub-groups/forums, and credible action delivery. This in regard to the extreme and very clear/compelling needs and mental health distress caused by persecution and prejudice, of LGBTQ+ minors and young adults (and broader LGBT+ community) homeless and at risk of homelessness, community.
And that, consequently, ‘tick-box’ ‘gesture’ cultures and related public statements still are all too common where many non-LGBT, homeless charities and relevant local authority departments are concerned in regard to their being at policy-level ‘LGBT friendly,’ when in reality at operational delivery level they have clear track records on being anything but.
The Network has therefore in regard to its LGBTQ+ homeless & at risk of homelessness community support initiative, through the medium of its South Coast of England/Bournemouth trialing to piloting phase in particular, worked on the basis of educational resources & related training and subsequent monitoring of use/implementation of both of the latter, multiagency approach which has emphasis on mental health outcomes through NHS relevant mental health programmes and FE colleges engagement as our primary emphasis for primary level support.
Beyond these we work at national and parliamentary levels for profiling the necessity of mental health restoration support and self-help, providing educational resources, and continuing in practical ways to challenge at operational, local level, the de-facto blocks to much needed change.
We can, on the basis of a use policy and partnership agreement, provide the resources referred to, to statutory (especially NHS mental healthcare trusts and relevant local authority departments services [housing and Social Services]) and appropriate homeless community support voluntary sector organisations. This can be done through initially emailing ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’ and/or calling +(0)7811 269 454.