Street Support Network. What We’re Doing, Where We’ve Been and Where We’re Going
We’d like to share with you the findings of a recent survey we undertook to evaluate what Street Support Network are doing well, areas where there is room for improvement, and how we intend to move forward.
The survey was developed and formulated by the core team at the time – Viv, Gary, Olie and Graham. Street Support has collaboration, co-production and partnership at its heart. It is committed to working with people who are experiencing homelessness, people who have lived experience of homelessness, with partner organisations, public and private sector stakeholders and with the people of Manchester. All valued contributors to our shared mission to end homelessness in Manchester and beyond.
For the purposes of this evaluation, Clare Devaney from Citizen-i Ltd was engaged as an independent evaluator to work with a broad sample group of all these stakeholders, undertaking a collective and unbiased appraisal of Street Support, its purpose, impact and future direction.
The full Evaluation Report can be read here. However, we would like to pull out a few key statements and quotes from the participants as a taster. It’s so much more than just a dull and lifeless report and is well worth a read. We hope you enjoy it and that it gives you further insight into our collective mission. In the meantime here’s a few comments from people who took the time to read, complete and comment on the survey questions.
Nicola Rae at Manchester Council highlighted the online public interface as an “invaluable” feature: “It is so useful to be able to direct people to the Street Support website when they say there’s nothing being done and they don’t know how to help – it literally shows people that all of this is being done, and this is how you can help”.
A member of the public stated – “It’s very hard to have the same conversation over and over again, about not being able to give anymore, not having anything in your wallet. Instead it’s great to be able to do something, to give more through Street Support”
One strategic partner commented that “Street Support can get the harder messages across in a way that we just can’t. People just want to just go out there and dole out hot chocolate, and it’s good to be able to redirect all of that good intention through the Street Support team”.
Other contributors commented that Street Support is:
“…a point of contact and coordination to enable homeless people to receive the assistance they need”
“…bridging the gap to get all the people who need to be in the room talking and sharing, to make the situation easier for those in need”
“…a portal via which service users and service providers can interact”
“…a fantastic team consistently bringing fresh thinking to this increasingly complex challenge”
“…a vital online support network, offering ‘shout outs’ for any assistance I have needed”
“…the best way to help people who are on the streets”
“…an online portal that allows all the charities involved in homelessness to connect, advertise for volunteers, find stuff we need”
GMP’s Andy Costello described it as his team’s “first port of call”. “It’s such a simple interface. I want it pre-installed on all of our team’s mobiles”.
Once again, Street Support’s role as a ‘connector’ of people and programmes was severally referred to, with Nathalie Delahaye, Founder of Fork Off events commented on the criticality of that role: “The whole ideology of ‘working together’ is the most important element. To ensure what is needed gets to the right people at the right time literally saves lives. The efficiency and non-duplication of work brought about by Street Support means that organisations can help more people, more quickly and with better effect”.
Please read the full Evaluation Report here. We’re all working together on this mission to end homelessness. If you feel you have anything you can contribute, any ideas or suggestions, please do not hesitate to get in touch. No one person has the solution. But working together as a city that cares, we have a chance. Thanks to all our contributors, partners and friends. You are all making a difference.