SHP Strategic Report DIGITAL

Single Homeless Project was founded in 1975 by a group of six homeless men seeking an alternative to rough sleeping or staying in common lodging houses or spikes. Whilst we have grown beyond recognition from those early days, these origins have continued to shape the way we work and our vision of a society where everyone has a place to call home and the chance to live a fulfilling life. 

The pandemic has reconfigured the world, making it more unpredictable and forcing us to adapt, but with this, it has also presented us with opportunities for bringing about change. We have strengthened our position as a significant provider of homeless and homelessness prevention services in London and we now help more people than ever.

We have increased our service reach both geographically and for people at different stages of homelessness, expanded our specialist programmes designed to address unmet needs and delivered the national Fulfilling Lives initiative in Camden and Islington as the lead agency. This growth has been enabled, in part, by the reputation we have built for the quality of our services and for the commitment of our staff, and their willingness to go the extra mile for our clients. 

The pandemic has reconfigured the world, making it more unpredictable and forcing us to adapt, but with this, it has also presented us with opportunities for bringing about change.

Our Way of Working 

We believe that services should create environments that aid and do not hinder people's recovery. We have developed a structured and evidence-based approach to supporting our clients called Our Way of Working’. This enables us to work effectively with people with multiple disadvantage who represent a significant proportion of our clients. This term describes people who experience several problems at the same time, such as mental ill-health, homelessness, drug and alcohol misuse, offending and family breakdown and who are likely to have struggled over long periods, let down by our support systems. Our approach is based on the conviction that, no matter what challenges they face, everyone we work with has the capacity to take control of their lives and to shape their own future. 

An uncertain future 

The economic fallout from the pandemic has put enormous pressure on many Londoners and we are likely to feel the impact for years to come. With unemployment rising, young people disproportionately affected, and more people facing precarious and stressful living situations, we could well see an increase in those forced to sleep rough on our city’s streets. We are more determined than ever to ensure that single people experiencing homelessness in London remain able to access the services they need and that as a charity, we have a positive and sustained impact on our clients’ lives. 

Our increased focus 

Many people forced to sleep rough experience chronically high levels of poor physical health. In response to this, our new strategy increases our focus on tackling health inequality. We have introduced specialist health leads to support clients to access the care they deserve. We have also broadened our programme of wellbeing and recovery initiatives to provide clients with more opportunities to take part in sport and other physical activity because we know that by doing so, they will greatly improve their overall health. 

Public services and systems designed to address homelessness should work effectively for everyone who needs them. But too many people are let down by outdated approaches and one size fits all services. We’re raising our ambition to influence service design and system change. By using our insight and expertise and by amplifying our client’s voices, we will become a voice for change. 

Our new strategic priorities 

Our new five-year strategy sees an evolution of our work, making the most of our collective experience, expertise and ambition. We focus on four strategic priorities: delivering urgent services to single Londoners experiencing homelessness; helping our clients on their journey to independence; developing new services that address unmet needs; and influencing service design and system change

The years ahead will be challenging and unpredictable, but we are ready for them. 

Liz Rutherfoord, Chief Executive and Jon Rosser, Chair of Board of Trustees


Download our full strategy 2021-26 here


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