In April 2019 Inverness Foodstuff kicked off an initiative to bring together all the organisations and groups working with people who are, or are at risk of homelessness in Inverness. We called it the Conversation Cafe and it provided an opportunity to sit down and discuss an approach to working together. Across Scotland, there’s a push for better preventative and joint working – often referred to as ‘No Wrong Door’. What this means is that there is no single path into homelessness and so it follows that there is no wrong door out of it. To help bring about the end of homelessness, people should be able to access the right services at the right time and in the right place to meet their needs.
The purpose of the Conversation Cafe was to think about how all the organisations and groups working with homeless and vulnerable people can work together in the best way possible to ensure that the ‘no wrong door’ approach works effectively in Inverness. This means having a shared understanding of what we need to do and how we work together to do it.
Over 40 people attended the café and engaged with the session and each other during the event. They included representatives from Highland Council, NHS Highland, DWP, Police Scotland, HMP Inverness, the Courts, together with a wide range of 3rd sector and voluntary services who are providing support to the homeless and vulnerable in our community.
From the conversations and informal feedback the event was well received and a welcome development in providing a forum at which issues can be discussed. There will soon be a report produced which will make recommendations as to how to take forward the discussions to ensure that the lead to positive outcomes but here are some comments from the day……
“We should develop a shared vision” “Don’t let’s lose the point of all this” “This should be a taster session for future activity”