One of the key goals of Emmaus’s strategic plan for 2015-2020 is to start campaigning to tackle the causes and consequences of homelessness and social exclusion. We wanted to ensure that Emmaus’s approach to campaigning is based on the views and experiences of companions, so we worked with the charity Groundswell to talk to companions across the federation about what they think would make the greatest difference in preventing and overcoming homelessness.

Groundswell trained eight companions from different communities in peer research methods. Together, the companion peer researchers and the Groundswell team talked to more than 150 companions across the federation.

The companions highlighted five priority areas:

  • Prevention: make the case for greater preventative measures to reduce the number of people becoming homeless
  • Improve signposting: undertake a proactive information campaign so that people know how to access help if they become homeless or are threatened with homelessness
  • Strengthen the safety net: challenge definitions of homelessness, vulnerability and priority need so that single homeless people can access more effective support
  • Tackle stigma: challenge the negative perceptions of professionals and the general public by presenting positive images and stories of people who have experienced homelessness
  • Promote long-term solutions: develop, share and promote good practice in supporting people experiencing homelessness

A summary of the research is available to download here.