Midland Heart unveils 'Street to Home' findings
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Health
Midland Heart, one of the region’s largest housing care providers, has presented the findings of an evaluation of their ‘Street to Home’ partnership with a women’s centre in Birmingham.
Midland Heart has worked closely with Anawim and Birmingham City University on the EU-funded project , which explores the lack of clear housing pathways and integrated social support available for women with multiple needs.
Anawim in Birmingham offers a wide range of support to women and children who are referred to them by a number of services such as the Probation Trust.
Gail Walters, head of community investment at Midland Heart, said: “Through an informal agreement Anawim’s case workers have been able to refer women to Midland Heart for a tenancy when they feel they are ready to benefit from stable housing. The support offered by Anawim continues once individuals have moved into their new home providing a much needed integrated approach.”
The informal agreement between Midland Heart and Anawim was identified as a model of good practice and evaluated by Birmingham City University.
The summary report, ‘Women with multiple needs: breaking the cycle’ can be downloaded from www.midlandheart.org.uk
Anawim director Joy Doal said: “We are working with a wide range of women with complex needs and those that may have had contact with the criminal justice system. For some of these women their journey through the CJS did not address their multiple needs, resulting in a cycle of reoffending.
“Centres like Anawim are well positioned to break this cycle but a lack of suitable, affordable housing where they can potentially be re-united with children and receive support that addresses their individual needs can put this in jeopardy.”
Midland Heart supported the evaluation by building an interactive cost benefit analysis model to help understand the impact of the social support and housing provision provided by the two organisations.
Stephen Russell, head of policy and public affairs at Midland Heart, said: “This model begins to quantify in monetary terms as many of the costs and benefits of this intervention as possible. For example: If only two children are prevented from entering the social care system for one year, the monetary benefits are almost double the cost of the housing and support intervention for all 13 women.”
The report highlighted the key role that women’s centres have to play in helping women turn their lives around and providing the stability needed to maintain their tenancies.
Guest speaker at the event was economist Vicky Pryce, who has also campaigned for women in prison after being jailed for perverting the course of justice after taking speeding points for her former husband Chris Huhne.