Network LGBTQ+ homeless initiative update — DPCC and Dorset Police support + BCP homeless partnership advance

The LGBT+ Network for Change (new, working name authorised by the Charity Commission, for the LGB&T Dorset Equality Network) is very pleased to share two major developments for the implementation of our LGBTQ+ homeless and hidden homeless community.

Following a recent meeting with the Dorset Police & Crime Commissioner, Mr David Sidwick, and a senior Dorset Police officer who part of the Dorset OPCC team, and Network Lead Officer, Alan Mercel-Sanca, some groundbreaking outcomes resulted on the police dimension of the Network initiative. These concerning development by the Network of police frontline officers focused LGBT & homeless and hidden homeless (especially LGBT ‘sofa surfing’) issues and needs. These around crime prevention in the areas of abuses and exploitation. We will keep you posted on this development — a very important component on the Network initiative — which is unique, or almost unique in the UK in regard to policing and police & crime commissioner remits.

In addition, further to major effort and work by the Network over many months and helpful engagement with the lead officer of the BCP Council Homeless Partnership/Forum, on the need to have a clear dedicated component of the work of the latter where the distinct, particular issues and support needs of our LGBTQ+ homeless community is concerned, so that all within the Partnership/Forum can have a clear understanding of those needs and their particular backgrounds and characteristics.

A new Diverse Communities sub-group for the Partnership/Forum, has a result been established and will in addition to LGBTQ+ community support mechanisms, also include the particular issues and needs our BAME homeless community encounter, AND same for our Intersectional LGBT – BAME homeless community. The BCP based Community Action Network (CAN) voluntary and community sector support organisation is leading on coordination of the new sub-group with support from the Network, Dorset Race Equality Council (with whom the Network has also had valuable discussions on LGBT BAME community issues collaborative support), Shelter, and other organisations, in conjunction with the BCP Council Homeless Partnership/Forum.

We will keep you posted with more news on these breakthroughs as they are taken forward.