Engaging with Homeless People

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Engaging with Homeless People by Mind Map: Engaging with Homeless People

1. Commitment

1.1. Achievement

1.1.1. Homeless people highlighting apathy gets in the way of volunteering (See Link: page 50) Develop volunteering opportunities where homeless people can see an 'end product' (See link: pages 17 & 21) Groups of hostel residents meeting to help each other set individual goals (See link: page 52)

1.1.2. Over half of homeless people wish to put something back into community and helping those less fortunate (See link: page 48) Homeless people are also keen to work with an agency that helps homeless people (See link: page 10) (Also see link: page 6)

1.1.3. Homeless people seek opportunities to gain skills and do something interesting (See link: page 48) (Also see link: page 6)

1.1.4. Roles with no room for development were found to be less rewarding (See link: page 27)

1.2. Status/Influence

1.2.1. Not wanting to work for free (See link: page 49)

1.2.2. Concerned about being taken for granted or given low status tasks (See link: page 27) Providing supervision for volunteers and involving them in team meetings (See link: page 32) Giving volunteers the opportunity to develop projects (See link: pages 6 and 10)

1.2.3. Homeless people are keen to develop their confidence (See link: page 48)

1.2.4. 33% of homeless people identified their own lack of confidence as a barrier to volunteering (See link: page 12) Providing meaningful activity develops confidence building (See link: page 51) Providing clarity around the volunteering role and tasks (See link: page 25) Volunteers being made to feel welcome. Attention to 'small things' and with people taking the time to show them around (See link: page 24) Provision of training to carry out a new volunteering role well (See link: page 23)

1.2.5. Concern that they would be taking someone else's job (See link: page 49)

1.2.6. 30% of homeless people identified their personal appearance as a barrier to volunteering (See link: page 12)

1.3. Social/affiliation

1.3.1. Homeless people happy to volunteer to meet new people, and all consider this to happen in reality (See link: pages 5 and 7) Providing induction activities in groups (See link: page 11)

1.4. Safety

1.4.1. 37% of homeless people identified the stigma of being homeless as a barrier to volunteering (See link: page 12) Nearly all volunteers living in hostels or temporary housing feel able to disclose their background to volunteer-involving organisations (See link: page 20)

1.4.2. 21% of homeless people would only consider volunteering if their lives became more stable (See link: page 5)

1.4.3. A third of homeless people indicated they did not feel well enough to volunteer (See link: page 49)

1.4.4. Fear about benefits being stopped (See link: page 49) Provide written guidance for homeless people on volunteering, police checks and benefits etc. (See link: pages 12-14)

1.5. Practicality

1.5.1. 27% of homeless people identified having no fixed contact address as a barrier to volunteering (See link: page 12)

1.5.2. Concerned they would have to pay their expenses or reimburse for travel (See link: page 51) (Also see link: page 34)

2. Contribution - high interest stakeholders

2.1. High influence

2.1.1. Sponsors Establish a cross-department working group to support the programme (See link: page 7) Using key projects to build partnerships with other organisations (See link: page 52) Organisations should only take on what fits within their aims and ethos (See link: page 25)

2.1.2. Blockers Homeless organisations can have a policy of refusing homeless people to volunteer in their organisation due to confidentiality and boundaries (See link: page 13) (Also, see link: page 22) Staff concerns about how homeless volunteers are to be supported (See link: page 6) Establish a cross-department working group to support the programme and clarify the roles of key staff (See link: page 7) Ensure those responsible for supporting homeless volunteers are well supported/trained (See link: page 16)

2.2. Low influence

2.2.1. Beneficiaries Successful volunteering experiences for homeless people enhances word-of-mouth' volunteer recruitment (See link: page 11) Developing projects for homeless volunteers to transform resources for the benefit of the community (See link: page 53)

2.2.2. Victims Volunteers can have bad experiences from staff who resent volunteers (See link: page 33) Current staff can struggle with a new requirement of having to work alongside/manage volunteers (See link: page 33) A bad experience from one organisation is likely to put homeless people off volunteering 'full stop' (See link: page 14) Volunteer centres providing more detailed support and advice around volunteering for homeless people (See link: page 10) Homeless volunteers not feeling trusted due to the stigma of being homeless (See link: page 21) Undertake research to review if stigma does stop mainstream organisations from involving homeless people (See link: page 17)

3. Contribution - low interest stakeholders

3.1. High Influence

3.1.1. Positive influencers Monitor and evaluate homeless volunteering programmes and measure wider outcomes (See link: page 24) Organisations can be more than willing to take on homeless people as volunteers (See link:page 13) Liaise with prime-providers, job-centres, DWP etc. to promote volunteering as a valid alternative to paid work or education for homeless people (See Link: page 49)

3.1.2. Negative influencers Problems within volunteer-involving organisations of the concept of homeless people volunteering (See link: page 13) Promote volunteering successes for homeless people in the wider voluntary and community sector (See link: page 13) Volunteering is not routinely suggested as an option for homeless people (See link: page 11) Opportunities for homelessness agencies to develop links with organisations that provide one-off volunteering opportunities (See link: page 12) There can be power imbalances when developing external partnerships (See link: page 18) Homeless agency staff have more important priorities to invest their limited resources in supporting their clients to volunteer (See link: page 5) Also see link: page 13) Funders tend to view volunteering and a means to obtain employment, however 58% of homeless people do not view volunteering in that way (See link: page 6) Jobcentre Plus staff routinely advising people incorrectly that volunteering may affect welfare benefits (See link: pages 13 & 14) CRB checks taking a long time to come though results in volunteers losing interest (See link: page 49)

3.2. Low influence

3.2.1. Bystanders Around half of young homeless people who signed up to volunteer did not attend their first session (See link: page 11) Providing the chance to visit the organisation before making a decision to volunteer for them (See link: page 13) Develop partnerships with key-workers (See link: page 9) A careful screening approach ensuring potential volunteers are aware of the project will reduce drop-out rates (See link: pages 11/12) Lack of buy-in from existing staff (See link: page 7) Persuading young homeless people that volunteering could be beneficial is difficult (See link: page 9) Involving volunteers with a homeless background to support the volunteer recruitment processes (See link: page 9) Develop links between homelessness agencies and volunteering brokerage agencies (See link: page 16) Easy to attract young homeless people to attend an event, but difficult to encourage regular attendance (See link: page 10) Develop short-term and one-off volunteering projects (See link: page 7) Many homeless people are disengaged from support agencies (See link: page 15)

4. Competence

4.1. Skills

4.1.1. Organisational Working with volunteers with additional support needs challenges conventional ways of managing volunteers (See link: page 12) Recommended volunteer management guidelines (See link: pages 34-36) Make a distinction between support to help homeless people volunteer and that relating to their social exclusion (See link: page 13) For partnership projects, ensure effective working links with those working directly with homeless people [rather than just working with senior staff] (See link: page 8) Employing volunteer coordinators with experience of working with hard-to-reach volunteers (See link: page 6) Using other staff within the organisation to provide support [key workers] (See link: page 13) Pay more attention to the planning stage to identify potential support needs of homeless volunteers (See link: page 7) Being flexible about volunteering arrangements and offering breaks if required (See link: pages 15-16) Involving volunteers with a homeless background to assist with volunteer recruitment and ongoing volunteer support processes (See link: page 9 and 20) Homeless volunteers able to offer their time during the day could be a valuable resources to different departments (See link) Volunteer-involving organisations not always able to support homeless volunteers' progression needs (See link: page 6) 88% of homeless people are happy to take part in one-off volunteering opportunities (See link: page 11) Linking with support staff in homeless agencies (See link: page 14) Organisations only having specific time slots for volunteer interviews, which homeless volunteers did not make(See link: page 10) Homeless people found application procedures were too complicated and unnecessary [and application forms were too long] (See link: page 17) Interview procedures that are relaxed and informal (See link: page 18)

4.1.2. Individual Some volunteers need to be asked to leave as their behaviour affected other homeless volunteers (See link: page 13) Homeless people not attending specific time slots for volunteer interviews (See link: page 10)

4.2. Knowledge

4.2.1. Organisational Volunteer-involving organisations with limited experience of working with homeless volunteers (See link: page 6) Create an internal mentoring scheme, which naturally develops organisational knowledge (See link: page 14) Volunteer development agencies to develop resources supporting homeless people volunteering (See link: page 13) Little known in volunteer-involving organisations that 69% of homeless people who volunteer, started to volunteer after they had become homeless (See link: page 6) Problems caused by blurring of boundaries between professional and personal lives (See link: page 15) Protocols in place to clarify who volunteers could contact, and when (See link: page 15)

4.2.2. Individual Problems caused by blurring of boundaries between professional and personal lives (See link: page 15) Protocols in place to clarify who volunteers could contact, and when (See link: page 15) Homeless people not seeing the right sort of volunteering opportunities (See link: page 5) An information resource for homeless people seeking to engage in volunteering (See link) Support provision that helps homeless people find worthwhile volunteering opportunities (See link: page 16) Providing all the information about volunteering on first contact (See link: page 12) Homeless people are unlikely to be connected to the 'word-of mouth' recruitment networks (See link: page 15) Making support workers more aware of the benefits of volunteering and how to signpost opportunities (See link: page 12)