Reemploying People who Experienced Homelessness
A Design Thinking Project for the Manchester Homelessness Partnership
Hyper Island, where I studied Digital Management, believes in real-world readiness. Therefore, we were tasked to exercise Design Thinking techniques on a brief given to us by the Manchester Homelessness Partnership. The challenge was to develop solutions that would increase the low reemployment rates of people who experienced homelessness.
People who experienced homelessness are unlikely to be reemployed
Manchester is facing a severe homelessness crisis. One in every 154 Mancunians was homeless in 2017. In total, rough sleeping in Manchester increased 13-fold since 2010. Further, the crisis will worsen since the number of people needing help to prevent becoming homelessness is expected to rise by 60 per cent over the next three years.
What we did:
Homelessness is an utterly complex problem with a variety of stakeholders involved. Therefore, we conducted over the period of three weeks more than 20 interviews with people who experienced homelessness, charities, shelters, businesses and local authorities. In addition, we ran a co-working ideation session with people experienced in the field.
A sports league that kicks off job opportunities
During our research, we learnt that homelessness is facing severe stigmatization and is mostly equated with rough sleeping. On the other hand, many Mancunian businesses would like to help, but don’t know how.
Therefore, we developed Kick Off, a football league that unites businesses and people with lived experiences of homelessness on a level football pitch. We believe that by forming up teams that consist of business people and people with lived experiences of homelessness stigmatisation would find an end. Further, the newfound network would open doors into a new work life.
Presenting our case to a public audience
After three intensive weeks we pitched our ideas to a public audience of businesses, charities and city council authorities. The Manchester Homelessness Partnership then assured us to further develop the Kick Off concept and maybe realise it.
Illustrations: Georgia Byron