This project, commissioned by Brighton City Council, is looking to take positive steps to help people who have been sleeping rough. This initiative arises from workers' observations that traditional interventions have focused only on practical issues, such as housing, and that providing shelter to homeless individuals is not always enough. This project seeks to bring useful ideas from psychology to front line staff. By tackling the psychological issues which homeless people face, this initiative seeks to help people feel more hopeful about their future. Professor Angie Hart, from Brighton University, has been involved in the project and is offering resiliency training.
Studies have shown that being hopeful about the future has positive effects on well-being. Other studies have shown that being optimistic can be learned. Resilience training teaches people to be more hopeful about their future. In this project, techniques and strategies will be taken from various psychological models in order to help and empower homeless individuals, and also those who work with them.
Vicky House, a clinical psychologist, is managing the Brighton and Hove team for the next two years. They are in the process of developing a website which will provide information and guidance to staff in hostels and other people working with vulnerable groups. This website will be launched in March 2007. To find out more about this initiative please contact Vicky House on 01273 291125 (0044 1273291125 outside the U.K.)