About Groundswell

We work with people with experience of homelessness, offering opportunities to contribute to society and create solutions to homelessness.

Participation is at our core because people have the right to be involved in decisions that affect their lives; this leads to better insight and better decisions.

Our vision

Our vision is of an equal and inclusive society, where the solutions to homelessness come from the people with experience of homelessness.

Our mission

Groundswell exists to enable people who have experience of homelessness to create solutions and move themselves out of homelessness – to benefit of our whole society.

Our core beliefs

1. The whole community benefits when we effectively tackle homelessness and social exclusion.

2. We believe in people. People are society’s most valuable resource, and everyone has the capacity to make a contribution.

3. There is no “them” and “us” – only us. Groundswell brings everyone together to create genuine solutions to homelessness.

4. Participation works. Supporting people to participate creates more effective services and policy – and crucially enables people to move out of homelessness.

We’re tackling four issues

1. Homelessness

We believe everyone has the right to a safe home and to contribute to society however:

  • an estimated 320,000 people are experiencing homelessness in the UK
  • homelessness increases the strain on the NHS and our wider society

2. Health inequalities

Everyone has a right to good health and a right to access healthcare however:

  • the experience of homelessness results in deaths 35 years earlier than those in stable accommodation, the average age of death for someone who is homeless is just 44 years
  • in 2018 two people experiencing homelessness died every single day in England and Wales, many of preventable health problems

3. Lack of participation

People with experience of homelessness should inform the solution, because they know the problems, however:

  • There is a lack of participation when it comes to designing services and policy that impact people’s lives 
  • Solutions to homelessness rarely use insight from the experience of homelessness, their voice is not heard

4. A society that doesn’t work for everyone

The system has been designed in a way that restricts opportunity, it needs to change to work for everyone because:

  • poverty restricts people’s options, pressure from issues such as high housing costs, inadequate housing, poor mental health and insecure work are leading people to breaking point
  • homelessness can cause instability in people’s lives, this combined with complicated systems and processes makes it difficult for people to navigate and access services

Our strategy

To address these issues, our ‘Participation Works’ strategy has three connected strands: progression, good health and creating change. In all areas we are strongly committed to partnership working wherever this more effectively provides impact.