Reducing homelessness is a key priority for Heart of London Business Alliance and this event saw over 80 attendees from 70 businesses across the UK come together to explore the powerful role that business can play in tackling homelessness, one of the most pressing social issues of our time.
It was inspiring to hear stories from our keynote speaker, Josh Littlejohn MBE (CEO of Social Bite and Founder of the Big Sleep Out) and Zoe Ward, one of the Rising Stars from the Pret Foundation. It was also apparent that unfortunately, there are no quick fixes to tackling homelessness. As Rachel Harrington said, “buckle up and prepare for the ride”, as this is a hugely complex issue.
Some of the key points raised, include:
- Start talking about the ‘H’ word in the workplace and review your HR policies to prevent it from happening
- ‘Do no harm’ – do not offer zero-hour contracts and ensure you pay the living wage at a minimum,
- Enter long-term partnerships with homelessness charities who are the experts in this field and use your business workforce to make a difference
- Join us and lobby government: from building housing to investing in new services
What was clear from the discussion is that the business community must use its skills and influence to address the issues of homelessness and we must work collaboratively on this.
View photos from the event here.
View the Designing out Homelessness toolkit here.
If you or your staff would like to learn more, we are hosting a Rough Sleeping Outreach Session, delivered by our charity partner, The Connection at St-Martin-in-the-Fields, on Tuesday 11 February, 3-4pm. For more details, or to register, please click here to RSVP. This event is open to Heart of London members.
If you would like to stay up-to-date with how your business can tackle homelessness, then please email firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up to our mailing list.