On 1 December 2020, Quaker Homeless Action joined Quaker Social Action as part of a planned merger.
We are privileged to take on responsibility for advancing QHA’s mission to offer fellowship, practical assistance to and a voice for homeless and marginalised people in Britain. We do so with humility, and with great respect for what QHA achieved over the past half century.
As part of the planning and preparation for the merger, QSA undertook a piece of research to identify areas of unmet need within the field of homelessness prevention and response. We were particularly keen to understand what had changed within homelessness provision due to lockdown, and the implications arising from that. We wanted to understand how we could creatively respond to unmet needs using QSA’s existing strengths, with consideration to our parameters in terms of management capacity and infrastructure.
We convened online listening exercises involving former QHA trustees and volunteers, as well as QHA and QSA supporters and we thank everyone who contributed their thoughtful questions and help in understanding homelessness. You can listen back to a recording of one of these sessions.
QSA colleagues, volunteers and trustees were also consulted as well as a range of people working in homelessness and related sectors. We reviewed news articles and reports on homelessness and on designing solutions to complex problems. The work was limited to desk research because of pandemic restrictions. The mobile library had been closed during the first lockdown and due to restrictions and the merger process it has not yet been able to reopen, so we were unable to speak to as many people with lived experience of homelessness as we would have liked, though we hope to do so in 2021.
We want to share what we learned during our research from August – December 2020 and what our current plans are for the future as well as letting you know how to stay up to date and involved if you wish. QSA has particular appreciation for the many volunteers and supporters who made QHA’s work possible and whom we hope will remain involved as we move forward. The passion and dedication of volunteers and supporters has come across very clearly, and we look forward to continuing this dialogue.
Responding to homelessness: pursuing your own path - online event
Are you concerned about homelessness and considering responding as part of a Quaker meeting or other group?
Join us for a free online session, sharing learnings from our recent research into the field, with guest speaker Rachel Woolf of Street Storage.