Women with multiple needs; breaking the cycle - Anawim findings unveiled
Today one of the regions largest housing a care providers will be unveiling findings of an evaluation of their partnership with a women's centre in Birmingham with guest speaker, Economist Vicky Pryce.
Midland Heart has been working closely with Anawim and Birmingham City University on an EU funded project called Street to Home, exploring the lack of clear housing pathways and integrated social support available for women with multiple needs.
Gail Walters, Head of Community Investment at Midland Heart said: "Through an informal agreement Anawim's case workers have been able to refer women to Midland Heart for a tenancy when they feel they are ready to benefit from stable housing.
"The support offered by Anawim continues once individuals have moved into their new home providing a much needed integrated approach."
Anawim in Birmingham offers a wide range of support to women and children who are referred to them by a number of services such as the Probation Trust.
Joy Doal, Director at Anawim said: "We are working with a wide range of women with complex needs and those that may have had contact with the Criminal Justice System (CJS).
"For some of these women their journey through the CJS did not address their multiple needs, resulting in a cycle of reoffending.
"Centres like Anawim are well positioned to break this cycle but a lack of suitable, affordable housing where they can potentially be re-united with children and receive support that addresses their individual needs can put this in jeopardy."
The informal agreement between Midland Heart and Anawim was identified as a model of good practice and evaluated by Birmingham City University (funded by the European Commission Directorate for Justice, DAPHNE programme).
Midland Heart supported the evaluation by building an interactive cost benefit analysis model to help understand the impact of the social support and housing provision provided by the two organisations.
Stephen Russell, Head of Policy and Public Affairs at Midland Heart said: "This model begins to quantify in monetary terms as many of the costs and benefits of this intervention as possible. For example: If only two children are prevented from entering the social care system for one year, the monetary benefits are almost double the cost of the housing and support intervention for all 13 women."
The report highlighted the key role that women's centres have to play in helping women turn their lives around and providing the stability needed to maintain their tenancies.
Midland Heart unveil the detailed findings of the report at an event at their head office in Birmingham on Wednesday 14th May.