The housing team at Central Bedfordshire Council came to us in 2020 with an urgent need to address the issue of homelessness. Specifically, they were receiving an average of 45 homeless presentations a week, more than half of which were from households who had reached crisis point.
When contacted for help at such a late stage, the team found it difficult to step in and offer support. It was also placing a great deal of pressure on the service and the need for temporary accommodation. So, our aim was to encourage at-risk people to come forward much earlier in the process, to allow the team the time they needed to intervene.
The first challenge to overcome was a general lack of awareness over the support available from the council, so we knew we needed to raise awareness via localised outdoor marketing and digital channels. The second challenge – overcoming the stigma that prevented people from accessing help – meant taking a fresh look at the imagery we’ve come to associate with homelessness.