Refugee & Migrant Housing and Women’s Advocacy Practitioner
Christine Whitehorn, an experienced, dynamic and innovative gender and trauma informed advocacy practitioner is working with our developing grassroots advocacy team, part time, sharing the position with our current Director Sarah Taal.
The advocate practitioners are based in Birmingham at the Jericho Foundation for admin and training, they attend our regular Monday drop in advice sessions at Elmwood Church in Handsworth, participate at regional and national meetings, do outreach at partner agency offices and conduct home visits where necessary.
The Programme Outcomes will:
Increase services offering gender and trauma informed support.
Increase in staff skilled to support women.
Increase engagement with women who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.
Reduce the number of women sleeping rough
Our first two training sessions have been booked with advocates and the local Children's Centre Team - to be postponed due to COVID-19.
If your interested in training please get in touch.
Baobab Women’s Project a local West Midlands CIC that advocates and raises awareness of issues affecting refugee and migrant women, has been awarded £31,350 from Homeless Link’s Ending Women’s Homelessness grants programme, funded by the Government’s Tampon Tax Fund.
Baobab Women’s Project is one of 29 charity projects across England, working with women who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, to receive a grant. Almost 200 organisations applied for a portion of the £1.85 million pot.
Women’s homelessness is a significant national issue with many women having experienced violence and abuse contributing to their homelessness. Over 640 women sleep on our streets every night and thousands more do not have access to a safe or suitable home.
Homeless Link’s grants programme aims to help end women’s homelessness by building capacity for gender- and trauma-informed services and developing partnerships between homelessness and specialist women’s sector charities.
At Baobab, the funding will be used to employ a housing and women’s advocacy practitioner who will increase gender and trauma informed casework across the West Midlands for migrant and refugee women. We regularly see destitute women who have received a negative asylum decision, but have a need for protection, and those who have fled domestic violence and become undocumented. Recognised refugees are also evicted from their accommodations and face homelessness.
We will deliver specialist casework, train and support volunteer advocates to improve practice with women who are homeless, or at risk of homelessness. We will also create and deliver a training package to external organisations and build partnerships with voluntary and statutory agencies. This will have a big impact, finding practical solutions for homeless women, improve our teams advocacy capability, and expand gender and trauma informed knowledge across homelessness and specialist womens organisations.
The grantees were chosen by a cross-sector, all-woman panel, including women with lived experience of homelessness.
Sarah Taal, Director of Baobab Women’s Project comments: “We are thrilled to be given the opportunity to deliver this project, this is a important time as we have seen a sharp rise in homelessness due to the ineffectual working of the new asylum support contracts, as well as a constant flow of women refused protection, or without residence facing poverty and abuse due to homelessness. The project will support women having complex housing issues, which intersect with immigration and health problems, engaging and partnership working with other agencies to meet their needs holistically.”
Homeless Link's Assistant Director of Practice and Partnerships, Tasmin Maitland adds: “Women’s homelessness is a growing crisis. Despite this, women who are homeless or at risk of homelessness are one of the most marginalised groups in our society and the specialist support that they need is often lacking or non-existent.
“We are delighted to be able to award Baobab Women’s Project a grant that will have a real impact on the support that women experiencing homelessness in West Midlands receive, and ultimately contribute to ending women’s homelessness for good.”
About Homeless Link: Homeless Link is the national membership charity for services working directly with people experiencing homelessness and those at risk of homelessness with housing, health, care and support needs. Representing over 700 organisations across England, we work to improve services through research, guidance and learning, and to promote policy change that will ensure everyone has a place to call home and the support they need to keep it.