20 March 2023
One of the most important goals that we strive for in Common Ambition is to expose system challenges. This has never been clearer than when we completed The Housing Pathway Map, a co-produced map of the pathway within Brighton and Hove, showing the many different challenges that a person experiencing homelessness has to face. By using the voices of lived-experience of homelessness we were able to clearly show that this is a map, it is not entirely reflective of people’s journeys which are often more traumatic than we could show on the map.
In November 2022 we had the opportunity to present our Housing Pathway map to two Brighton MPs, Caroline Lucas from the Green Party and Lloyd Russell-Moyle from the Labour Party. Both MPs are quite prominent within the House of Commons and have advocated for reform within Housing in the UK, also to improve conditions for the homeless as well as to make changes to prevent homelessness.
Following our recent event in London presenting the Housing Pathway to other Common Ambition projects from around the UK we were quietly confident, being seasoned pros and all! Still, certainly I felt the enormity of the situation; given that this audience had the ability to hear the challenges faced by the homeless community and at least at a local level make changes to make a difference! Anyway, the show must go on! So the CA team assembled and talked about what the Brighton and Hove Common Ambition project is, what our goals are as well as showcasing some of our previous work; then we talked about our mapping of the Housing Pathway, our Service Maps and our toolboxes. Our presentation was well-received, both MPs and members of their office in attendance spent some time looking over our work and asking questions.
Overall we believe that the presentation was a success, and it was clear that both MPs genuinely wanted to be involved and assist in some way.
One of the many good things to come from this meeting is that Caroline asked the Common Ambition project, being aware of the difficult challenges that homeless people experience, to write three things that could be added to party manifestos that at local level could be included to improve the housing crisis within this city and access to the healthcare services that the homeless need. This is a fantastic opportunity for the CA group to use our voice to make real changes to how the elected party works with the homeless and improving their access to health services in the future. More about this in a separate blog entry.
Following this event, we have sent the manifestos to both parties. With the local elections in just a few months lets see if our words have influenced either parties in some way!