Destitution – The challenge of destitute and homeless migrants in London

A meeting report is now available

This London Funders member’s event provided an opportunity for funders to:

  • Receive an update on the changing picture of need in London
  • Be updated on developments and progress since the London Funders Demystifying Destitution meeting held late last year
  • Consider what needs to be done in London and what scope there is for collaboration amongst funders


London Funders held an initial meeting Demystifying Destitution- How should funders respond to street homelessness and destitution in London? last October. This event provided an opportunity for funders to be briefed on this complex topic and to hear from Homeless Link and Refugee Action on recent developments and joint working, including feedback from the London Migrant Homelessness Conference held in 2013 (summary report is available here).

Those funders present at the October meeting recognised that this was a complex area of need, which cuts across many different services and policy areas, and is considered by many agencies as being at the margins of their main work. The meeting also identified that there was an appetite for collaboration amongst funders, and asked London Funders to look at what steps could be taken to facilitate collaboration and action.

Since the October meeting, London Funders has had a number of conversations with different members and other agencies to explore further the challenges facing destitute and homeless migrants in London. There have also been further independent funder discussions about the challenges and need for funder collaboration via the ACF Issue Based Networks on Homelessness and Migration, and a roundtable event hosted by JRF.

The issue of meeting the needs of homeless and destitute migrants is a national issue, however there are particular challenge for London, owing to the scale of the problem within London (the London Combined Homelessness and Information Network figures for 2012-13 show 53% of rough sleepers in London were non UK nationals) and to complexity of London’s local government arrangements.

Whilst there is clearly willingness for funders to collaborate, the combined complexity of needs for the different groups who fall under the broad label of destitute and homeless migrants, and the diversity of service responses required, make facilitating joint action and collaboration even more challenging than usual.

This meeting covered the following areas:

  1. Brief update on developments and changes since the London Funders October meeting;
  2. Review the actions arising from the London Migrant Homelessness Conference;
  3. Discussion of what attendees are currently doing;
  4. Scoping the appetite for further collaboration and joint action;
  5. Identifying the potential challenges and dilemmas facing different funders
  6. Consideration of next steps and further actions

A meeting report is now available here.