Community Led Social Housing: Tackling Homelessness in Torbay

Facilitating a community response to housing people who are homeless in Torbay

Torbay Council commissioned Encounters Arts to design and coordinate a creative engagement process that would catalyse a community response to housing people that are homeless in Torbay.

A key aim of the project was to bring together groups and individuals concerned about homelessness in Torbay to:

  • learn about community led housing solutions
  • explore their potential for housing people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness in Torbay
  • develop ideas and plans for action that could be taken together locally.

The project took place between January to May 2019. During the project Encounters Arts worked closely with the Reference Group to:

  • Design a creative engagement event that would bring together diverse people and organisations concerned about homelessness to explore ideas and priorities and build trust and collaboration;
  • Design an appealing and accessible invitation to the creative engagement event;
  • Filter and interpret the responses from the creative engagement event;
  • Assist in planning the ongoing project and identifying where arts and cultural processes could be integrated.

The project was delivered by Encounters Creative Associates, Jenny Gellatly and Kate Bowman. The reference group for the project included Torbay Council, Wessex Community Assets, Torbay End Street Homelessness Campaign, Shekinah and Friends of Factory Row.

‘Why haven’t we done this before, this kind of event? Going out into the community to ask do you want to do something – it really can work.’

Commissioner for the project

'Incredible event, with an amazing group of people from a variety of backgrounds.  Really looking forward to working with others to make a difference.'

Event participant

'I felt positive, that my experience will help others, that my real experience of homelessness means I know stuff.'

Event participant