pathway

Here at The Bridge Homelessness to Hope, we always strive to support the homeless and vulnerably housed in a welcoming and non-judgmental manner. Our volunteers, staff and trustees work directly with guests, and partner with other charities and agencies to open doors to a wider range of services.

 

Each stage in the graphic below helps to build a trusting relationship which we believe is essential to the wellbeing and positive outcomes of our guests. This provides a ‘pathway’ of support for guests on their personal journey from homelessness to hope.

A Warm Welcome

Peer

Support

Experience

Action

Reflection

Crisis

Support

Rebuilding

Lives

Wellbeing & Self-Care

Each guest is unique and each journey towards a fulfilling life will be different. This journey is rarely linear, with setbacks as well as progress, and it may take any length of time. The support we give is therefore based on the strengths and circumstances of the individual, and offered with patience, understanding and flexibility.

Within these 5 stages, is the consistent use of Reflective Practice using the ERA Cycle (1) which runs throughout every aspect of the organization. We all start with our own experiences; we reflect on this experience and then act accordingly. We use this module throughout our work to ensure we consistently use the best practice possible and learn together.

Creating a Psychologically-Informed Environment at The Bridge

PIE

We believe that as we become a Hub and a Community Café, our focus should be on the improvement of both physical and mental wellbeing.

 

Our aim is to be a Psychologically Informed Environment (PIE) and a trauma aware service.

Based on the 2012 Good Practice Guide (2) this means our services are consciously designed to consider the psychological and emotional needs of the people using the service. We recognise that this is particularly important where people have complex and entrenched needs or have experienced acute trauma, as often trauma and adverse childhood experience are prevalent in the narrative of people’s pathway to homelessness (3).

 

We know that insecure childhood attachment strongly impacts upon the ability to have healthy social relationships in adulthood (4). Some have difficulty managing their emotions, appear impulsive and do not consider the consequences of their actions. Some may be withdrawn, isolated and reluctant to engage or exhibit anti-social behaviour.

The purpose of a PIE is to help staff and volunteers understand where these behaviours are coming from and therefore work more creatively and constructively with challenging behaviours. Central to PIE is the idea that real development of services arises from reflective practice and must come from within the team (5)

 

The primary tool for change is relationships. It is through good relationships and support that staff and volunteers can help a guest start to make positive changes in their life. It is also the responsibility of staff and volunteers to ‘model’ healthy relationships that we know many of guests struggle to create as adults. Furthermore, there is no fixed or ‘correct’ model but rather a set of elements that allow the development of services in a psychologically informed way.

  1. Jasper,  ‘Beginning Reflective Practice (2013)

  2. Psychologically Informed Services for Homeless People: Good Practice Guide (2012)

  3. FEANTSA, Recognizing the link between Trauma and Homelessness (2017)

  4. FEANTSA, Recognizing the link between Trauma and Homelessness (2017)

  5. Haig et al, Psychologically informed environments and the ‘Enabling Environments’ initiative (2012)

​​Click on the button below for the full Pathway document.