I have been asked to present some ideas and examples on the issues of Black people and homelessness. But in order to do this, I will take a little time to set the context of the dynamics of homelessness and becoming vulnerable that are specific to members of the black community and then outline how this steers an appropriate response to this.
To coin a phrase, ‘providing support is not a black and white issue’ Nor is it simply about keeping people out of trouble and off the streets. I can illustrate this with two statements;
The real challenge is to affect the causes of vulnerability and disadvantage. And for black people, to respond to the additional complexities the emerge when race is dimension..
For those of you who are familiar with Supporting People… QAF C1.5 on Fair access presents specific services like the ones we run in Ujima (described as Black on Black) with a dilemma…. The general discourse around fair access, diversity and inclusion is a discussion about cross cultural practice
A truism, but a need to incorporate this into service range, and design… To illustrate I will share a model which can give insight into this dynamic relationship..
In order for us to move away from responding to impacting, Ujima is changing it’s organisation to meet this new challenge.
Engage – Mentoring schemes, Foundation schools, partnerships with local schools to provide placement opportunities for excluded students. Enable – through our social enterprise business we are putting our money to work in providing opportunities for ‘real jobs’ and ‘training experiences that improve employability’ For example start up business units, accredited training, construction/maintenance jobs, Community Banks Enrich – older people have lifetimes worth of knowledge and this can be of use to a younger person starting out, or they may provide a positive ‘role model/ mentor’
Finally, when it works, you will some ‘small changes’…
Supporting bme people who live in homes
Supporting BME peoplewho live in homes..Cashain DavidUjima Housing Group
Starting points…♦ When delivering support, being black isthe both most important and mostunimportant thing at the same time♦ In the ‘support industry’ we have beenpre-occupied with providing ‘supportedhousing’ rather than enabling people tocreate and live in ‘homes’ and becomepart of communities
A focus on the Causes..♦ Exclusion from education,♦ Financial hardship/poverty♦ Unemployment♦ Poor self image♦ Social isolation and skills, information,valued relationships,♦ Experience of ‘care’ system♦ Family conflicts / poor parenting
Critical Questions♦ What are you doing to prevent familybreakdown ?♦ How are you responding to exclusionsfrom schools ?♦ How are you preventing substanceuse/abuse ?♦ How do you help service users(reluctant customers) find and maintainrelationships ?
How do we support people?♦ somewhere to live♦ emotional problems♦ getting through a crisis♦ a full life during the day♦ making and keeping friendships
more…♦ getting and holding down a job♦ getting a reasonable income♦ Someone to speak on their behalf♦ learning new skills
Quality Assessment Framework(QAF) C1.5 Fair Access, diversityand inclusion♦ A focus on commitment to principles ofequality of opportunity♦ Respecting difference♦ Involving usersHow does this framework recognise those whowork with ‘sameness’
UJIMAs added value…♦ Help to make/keep contact with peoplefrom their own background♦ Opportunities to explore who they areracially and culturally♦ Multi-lingual staff to explore ‘languagecodes’♦ Knowledge of patterns of expression♦ Commitment to development of theBlack ‘community’
On being Black…♦ Not everyone knows that they are black,some people discover it…
Dr William Cross♦ A clinical psychologist practicing in theUSA♦ Aim – to explain the need forpsychological liberation underconditions of oppression♦ Central issues is IDENTITY andTRANSITION
Published..♦ Negro-to-Black conversion. 1971♦ Models of Nigrescence. 1980(Nigrescence – from the French ‘the process of becomingBlack’)♦ Shades of Black. 1991♦ His work has been modified and adapted tothe British context by Dr June Farrell
Development of identity♦ AUTOMATIC– ‘socialisation’– Early childhood– Adolescence– adulthood♦ DISCOVERY– ‘encounter’– ‘the process ofbecoming black’– ‘nigrescence’
Stages in Black identitydevelopment♦ Pre-Encounter - Identifies with White culture, rejectsor denies membership in Black culture.♦ Encounter - Rejects previous identification withWhite culture, seeks identification with Black culture.♦ Immersion/Emersion - Completely identifies withBlack culture and denigrates White culture.♦ Integration/Commitment - Internalizes Blackculture, transcends racism, fights general culturaloppression.
A look at racial identity…why?♦ Gives a framework for understanding ofresponses and presentations♦ Acknowledges the impact of racism anddiscrimination on choices♦ Help referrers to make more appropriatereferrals to services♦ Assists commissioners to understand andvalue of a wide spectrum of services
In a word…♦ Some black people use our servicesbecause we are Black like them, whilstothers in our communities do not useour services because we are Black’
Investing in the community‘Places full of strangers are inevitably feltto be places full of dangers’Gerald Lemos – Steadying the ladder
♦ Engage – with young people throughearlier interventions♦ Enable – adults to have the means ofimproving their life chances and makingbetter use of their♦ Enrich – the lives of older peoplethrough a sensitive approach to theircare and providing valued roles withinthe ‘Ujima community’