Overview of the Programme

Event 1 

Nicholas Pleace – Housing First: Key lessons from the global evidence

Nicholas Pleace is Director of the Centre for Housing Policy at University of York. His presentation provides an in-depth overview of the evidence of Housing First, drawing on studies conducted in Canada, France, England and Finland. He discusses the benefits of the approach as well as the challenges.


You can download a copy of his presentation here.


John Budd – Health, homelessness and harm reduction

John draws on his work as a GP at Edinburgh Access Practice. He presents case studies and identifies the role of developing trusting relationships as key to offering effective harm reduction and health interventions (including housing) both with patients and partner agencies.


You can download a copy of his presentation here.


'A bad year for Toni’ - play by Phoenix Futures

Phoenix Futures are a charity and housing association which has been helping people overcome drug and alcohol problems for more than 45 years. They provide residential, prison, community and specialist services. A group of residents were invited to perform at this SUII event and have created a bespoke commission focusing on drugs and homelessness drawing on their own lived experiences. Just as a warning, the performance covers a range of complex issues, including drug use, fatal overdose, and domestic abuse.


Event 2

Helen Carlin – "We will need to take you in": How Thorntree Street came to be and what it offers to those who live there

Helen is the CEO of Rowan Alba, a charity who provide support to those experiencing homelessness. In her presentation, Helen talks about one service, Thorntree Street, which provides housing to people over 50 with a history of homelessness and problem alcohol use. She outlines how this unique home for life came about, and talks about how research impacts and influences the Rowan Alba way of working and service development.


You can download a copy of her presentation here.


Adam Burley – Dependency and relationships in healthcare

Adam draws on his experience as a Consultant Clinical Psychologist at Edinburgh Access Practice. He explores the concepts of dependence and independence from a psychological perspective, and discuss the implications and evidence for relationally based services.


You can download a copy of his presentation here. 


Ligia Teixeira - Building an infrastructure for investing in 'what works'

Ligia is the Director of the new Centre for Homelessness Impact. In this presentation she discusses the untapped power of evidence as a way to achieve step-change in the effort to end homelessness.


You can download a copy of her presentation here. 


Bernie Pauly - Are we putting evidence into action? Implementation of harm reduction for people experiencing homelessness

Bernie Pauly is Associate Professor at the University of Victoria; Scientist in the  Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research; and Honorary Professor at the University of Stirling. In this presentation she discusses harm reduction interventions for those experiencing homelessness. Among homeless and at risk of homeless populations, there is a range of problematic and non-problematic substance use for both alcohol and other drugs. Substance use is a symptom and response to trauma and difficult life circumstances. While rates of substance use, particularly illicit substance use, may be higher than in the general population, there is often not a full range of services to address these issues. Harm reduction services that aim to prevent harms of substance use rather than discontinuation of use are evidence based and effective but often not implemented or if implemented, only partially implemented. The purpose of this presentation is to examine issues related to implementation of harm reduction strategies, including the failure to implement, the lack of comprehensive implementation and partial implementation.


You can download a copy of her presentation here.


Event 3

Neil Hamlet – Tapas, Templates and Temperance

Neil draws on his experience as a Consultant in Public Health to present a variety of brief insights from a public health lens to the interplay between housing and wellbeing. How ‘Rafters’ and ‘Relationships’, ‘Bricks’ and ‘Biology’, ‘Homes’ and ‘Hope’ work together across the life-course to make or break our experience of wellbeing in ourselves and our society. Any examination of human disconnection and disadvantage leads us into a web of complexity as we try to unpick cause from consequence, rights from responsibilities. Neil will introduce us to some ‘templates’ which may help us to revise how we approach working in this area. In particular the 5Rs – Rafters, Relationships, Resources, Restoration, and Resilience. Finally the concept of ‘temperance’ – but not in its usual meaning will be applied to ourselves and our organisations in how we journey with and empower our clients into positive futures no matter their pasts.


You can download a copy of his presentation here.


Renzo Cardosi – Holding the hope

In his presentation, Renzo considers discussions from the previous two events and draws on his work as Operations and Business Manager at YPeople, a charity which provides support to vulnerable people, including those experiencing homelessness. He explores several approaches and the need for information sharing when working with individuals with complex needs. The presentation also highlights the impact Ypeople’s Psychologically Informed Environment approach on staff and service users.


You can download a copy of his presentation here.