We’ve been nominated!! Wales Online Diversity and Inclusion Awards: LGBTQI+ Champion, Initiative or Campaign of the Year!

Written by Rob Milligan

Homelessness and LGBTQ+ People in Gwent Research

Tai Pawb are really excited to announce we’ve been shortlisted for a Wales Online Diversity & Inclusion Award for LGBTQI+ Champion, Initiative or Campaign of the Year. We’re really proud of this nomination, the work of our partners, and wanted to take this opportunity to celebrate the success of the project so far.

We know LGBTQ+ are amongst the most at risk groups of homelessness as nearly a quarter of homeless people aged 16-25 identify as LGBTQ+. LGBTQ+ folks experiencing homelessness are more likely to be subject to violence and are at a greater risk of suffering from physical and mental health conditions. Services may not always be designed to understand their challenges, which can lead to poorer outcomes and disengagement, and more hidden forms of homelessness.

Recognising these issues, the five Gwent local authorities commissioned us to deliver research into LGBTQ+ peoples experience of homelessness in Gwent and how they could improve their services. Alongside LGBTQ+ support organisations we worked with academics Dr Edith England and researcher Dr Neil Turnbull to:

  • Acknowledge current experiences of LGBTQ+ people in Gwent facing homelessness
  • Assess demand for a dedicated supported housing scheme and floating support for LGBTQ+ people in the area.

It was essential LGBTQ+ lived experience was central to the research as we sought to amplify people’s experiences to inform better services across Gwent.  We did this through focus groups, surveys and interviews with those affected: The results were stark. While we all know the challenges nationally, understanding LGBTQ+ people experiences in Gwent really brought home the need for change.

All five local authorities; Blaenau Gwent, Caerphilly, Monmouthshire, Newport, and Torfaen have approached the research in a reflective way and have welcomed the truths in the findings; an approach we applaud.

Alongside people’s experiences in Gwent, the research looked elsewhere to good practice from The Outside Project and also Tŷ Pride, a partnership project of Llamau, Viva and Denbighshire local authority. The research goes on to make recommendations on how services and peoples experiences can be improved. Key recommendations for the local authorities to consider are:

  • Creating a specific homelessness service with housing for LGBTQ+ folks facing homelessness in Gwent.
  • Ensuring LGBTQ+ support that is highly aware and sensitive to the needs of LGBTQ+ people.
  • Considering a lived experience requirement for staff in LGBTQ+ specific temporary accommodation.
  • Across Gwent improve data collection, including intersectional data, to help identify the discrimination and wellbeing disparities experienced by our LGBTQ+ communities.

Discussions to implement the study’s recommendations will begin over the summer.

While this research has shone a light on LGBTQ+ experiences of homelessness in Gwent, for everyone it’s worth acknowledging the barriers that still exist in the 21st century. For anyone who would like to learn more or think that their workplace could benefit from awareness raising on this topic please contact us at Tai Pawb where we offer awareness raising and training on:

**We also have an Open Access event on 17th November 2022 in recognition of Trans Inclusion week, information can be found here**

If you’d like to talk to us about any of this work then get in touch at info@taipawb.org or 02921057957.

Stay tuned for future updates on this work and wish us luck at the Wales Online Diversity and Inclusion Awards on the 13th of July 2022.

Tan tro nesa!