Over the past two and a half years The Centre for Civic Innovation have been a part of the URBACT ROOF Network, a group of 9 cities working together to eradicate homelessness across Europe. Despite the majority of the work taking place during the pandemic, our team ensured that the network were able to meet online and collaborate effectively by harnessing our online tools and facilitation skills.
THE ROOF Network consists of 9 European cities, Braga, Thessaloniki, Toulouse Métropole, Ghent, Liège, Poznan, Timișoara, Odense and Glasgow, who are committed to embedding a Housing First/ Housing Led approach to ending homelessness.
Unlike traditional models where a person experiencing homelessness has to solve the challenges they face before being considered for a tenancy, Housing First/ Housing Led provides a tenancy and an individually tailored package of support to those experiencing homelessness. Allowing them to retain their dignity and give them the best opportunity to thrive with a roof over their head and a place they can call home.
Glasgow was one of the most advanced cities in the network with 255 Housing First tenancies currently in place, giving us an opportunity to share our knowledge and experience with our partners in the ROOF Network. This also gave Glasgow the opportunity to learn and build capacity in other areas during the programme.
The Centre for Civic Innovation led on the development of storytelling as a tool for advocacy. In partnership with Queen’s Cross Housing Association, we created a bank of stories that captured the experiences of a group of successful Housing First tenants and the staff that support them. We also worked with the Village Storytelling Centre to deliver and evaluate a storytelling for Advocacy training course for communities.
As well as sharing Housing First practice with our fellow cities, The Centre of Civic Innovation supported the 9 Cities to develop and agree on the key messages from the programme that will now be taken forward to influence EU, national and local policy to tackle and end homelessness across Europe.
“With the guidance of our Advocacy expert, the Glasgow Centre for Civic Innovation and their delivered at the final event on May 13th design team, we developed 4 key messages on what we think Europe can do on housing, housing first, data and funding to help us cities end homelessness.”
CCI also facilitated a workshop for the network at ROOF TOP22, the final event of the project in Liège in May. During this session, we looked at the future of ROOF and how the cities could continue to collaborate after the conclusion of the project.
At the Musée de la Boverie in Liège, Belgium, we split the participants into 6 groups from across the 9 cities and asked them to think about future collaboration across 6 key themes of homelessness (Support services, data, Housing First, prevention, housing risk or insecurity & what we might have missed).
In the space of an hour and a half, a group of 30 people from 9 different cities, came up with over 180 ideas that were then focused into 6 concepts to ensure the continuation of the ROOF Network as we continue to eradicate homelessness.
“The workshop was a great example on how to integrate design thinking into an action planning moment. It allowed the participants to go beyond what they already know, and get the perspectives of people from different cities. I am sure all partner appreciated it as it opened different points of view exactly when they need to review their plans and integrate them. It was creative, fun and insightful.” ROOF Advocacy Expert - Liat Rogel
Although we are reaching the culmination of this phase of the ROOF project, The Centre for Civic Innovation will continue to work creatively in this space. Working in partnership we will support the city to take forward the action plan created in this phase of the programme co-designing and testing a new model of local prevention as well as sharing good practices, building capacity locally, highlighting and developing innovative solutions aimed at eradicating homelessness in Glasgow.