Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.

Where to Make Savings in Homelessness Services

390 views

Published on

Presentation given by Matt Harrison, CEO, Homeless Link, UK, at a FEANTSA seminar on "Funding strategies: Building the case for homelessness", hosted by the Committee of the Regions, June 2012

  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

Where to Make Savings in Homelessness Services

  1. 1. WHERE TO MAKE SAVINGS IN HOMELESSNESS SERVICES Matt Harrison CEO – Homeless Link, UKWWW.HOMELESS.ORG.UK
  2. 2. Introduction • Homeless Link is the national membership organisation for homelessness services in England • We have over 500 members working with homeless people across the country to end homelessness • Our role is to lobby government on behalf of homeless people and our members and to support and help them in practical ways • We provide advice and support to them through our network of regional managers • These are tough times – most of our members are facing cuts and having to make savings • We’re not yet seeing massive closures of services, but they are happening (4.6% of services closed in 2011/12)WWW.HOMELESS.ORG.UK
  3. 3. Why is there a need to make savings? • The recession has led to an “Age of austerity” • Massive public spending cuts in the UK • Funding cuts to local authorities of 28% over 4 years • Much of this being passed on to our sector • Local authorities provide 70% of our members’ funding • Cuts at a local level varying from 0% to 50% - in year 1 • Most of our members (58%) have been cut already by 15% on average • Most organisations (57%) expect further cuts this year • So far the sector has just about coped – 10 years of public investment means we have a strong and resilient sector • But the risks are growing…WWW.HOMELESS.ORG.UK
  4. 4. Main areas to make savings • Organisational changes • Staffing • Methods of deliveryWWW.HOMELESS.ORG.UK
  5. 5. Organisational savings • Mergers and collaborations • Sharing resources • Outsourcing back-office services • Alternative income streams – Social EnterpriseWWW.HOMELESS.ORG.UK
  6. 6. Case Study North East •4 small local agencies have formed a partnership to share all their back-office functions. •Not a merger - a collaboration •Share IT, HR and training and finance staff •Use staff to cover holidays and sick leave – reduce locum costs •Now employing a Business Development Manager to bid for contracts as a consortiumWWW.HOMELESS.ORG.UK
  7. 7. Case study North West • A medium sized charity has joined a large Housing Association in a group structure. • Retain their own independent board and business plan • Use the larger organisation’s HR, IT, Finance and Business Development teams • Reduces costs, gives them more resilience and makes them more likely to win contracts • Some loss of independenceWWW.HOMELESS.ORG.UK
  8. 8. Case study South West • Medium sized charity providing hostels and other services for homeless people • Set up a sustainable Social Enterprise, employing service users • They deliver construction and services for local housing associations (eg. clearances, redecoration and refurbishment) • Turnover has reached £300,000 – not yet making profits for the parent charity but growing fast. • This is in addition to providing a route into employmentWWW.HOMELESS.ORG.UK
  9. 9. Staffing • Typically the biggest element of a budget for our sector • On average in the UK about 70% of total costs • If services are to continue with lower levels of funding, then staffing costs have to reduce • Many organisations in the UK are reviewing and reducing salaries and changing terms and conditions (eg. longer hours) • Competitive tendering makes this more likely • Fears of a “race to the bottom” • What else can be done?WWW.HOMELESS.ORG.UK
  10. 10. Staffing options - 1Possible Benefits Risks Mitigating actionsresponseReduce number • Removal of less effective staff • Low morale • Staff consultationof staff, including • Interventions can be more • Longer working hours for throughoutsharing managers focussed remaining staff • Planning with staffacross services • New creative ways of working • Fewer support hours leading to • Measuring impact of can inspire staff and achieve more incidents and worse changes better outcomes outcomes • Work with external partners • Clients with high support needs receive all attentionEmploy lower • Supervisory opportunities for • Inexperience leads to more • Review JDs and PSs tograde staff existing staff incidents ensure that the skills • Provide placements for social • Lack of confidence among required are right work students team • Ensure training and supervision is in place • Arrange external supervision from others WWW.HOMELESS.ORG.UK
  11. 11. Staffing options - 2Possible Benefits Risks Mitigating actionsresponseReduce • Better rota for full-time project • Fewer professional staff at • Staff consultation workers, increasing morale critical times • On-going review of incidentsstaffing at • Increased risk of incidents and impactnight • Training for night staff • Review risk and incident policies • Implement a risk registerUse of more • Increased engagement with • Inexperience • Training and support from the community • Reduced client satisfaction volunteer agenciesvolunteers • Increased client involvement • As above • Social work students • Volunteers bring new skills • Use skilled volunteers to fill and expertise (possibly gaps experience of homelessness) • Be clear about what you are • Frees up staff to do more in asking volunteers to do depth case workWWW.HOMELESS.ORG.UK
  12. 12. Case study London • A new hostel that operates more as a hotel (not for cost reasons) • No night staff, but a concierge service • Just to provide security, not support • Lower costs, and many organisations find that night staff are not as effective as they would hope at providing support.WWW.HOMELESS.ORG.UK
  13. 13. Case study London • Large provider set themselves a target to reduce their costs • All staff had a small pay cut and a longer working week • One layer of senior management removed • All staff asked to feed in ideas how to make savings • More use of sessional staff, interns, trainees and volunteers • Outsourced IT support • Contracts centralised and consolidated (eg. mobile phones) • Achieved their targeted cost savings, but some impact on morale – partly because they started first rather than waiting until everyone was doing it.WWW.HOMELESS.ORG.UK
  14. 14. Case study London •Teams of 3 floating support staff now 1 staff member, 1 trainee, 1 volunteer. The trainee is paid, the volunteer unpaid •Both trainee and volunteers receive accredited training and a qualification after 1-2 yearsWWW.HOMELESS.ORG.UK
  15. 15. Service changes Possible Benefits Risks Mitigating actions response Stop delivering • Become more efficient • Job losses • Redeploy staff to other less crucial or • Only support those with the • Increased pressure and services ineffective areas highest need demand on other services • Consult and measure of your service – • Risk to clients if vital service impact of change for example is removed throughout serving lunch. Engage the • Increased community • Fragmented service delivery • Joint working protocols engagement c • Service level agreements • New opportunities and o • Review policies and impact. creative mapproaches m u n i t y aWWW.HOMELESS.ORG.UK n d
  16. 16. Case study East Midlands • A large hostel redeveloped with public investment • Some self-contained units, high standard, separate entrance • These units are part of the service while they have funding • But could rent these units commercially to generate income to support the rest of the service.WWW.HOMELESS.ORG.UK
  17. 17. Case study North East • Floating support service working with young people • Funding cut significantly • Now offer initial support when young people move in • All follow up work done by young people visiting them • Retains contact, builds independence and responsibility and at a lower costWWW.HOMELESS.ORG.UK
  18. 18. Conclusions • After 10 years of increased investment in services in the UK, we are facing a sustained period of cuts • No organisation wants to close services – especially as the recession means demand is rising • So we have to look to see if we can make savings in our homelessness services. • There are clear risks from these actions that need to considered and mitigated. • But the risks to our clients of closing services may be higher. • Further reading on what’s happening in England: http://homeless.org.uk/snap2012WWW.HOMELESS.ORG.UK

×