The SHEN network has been set up to improve opportunities for people facing homelessness in Scotland through engagement with education, training and employment opportunities. We make links between organisations and individuals working in homelessness services, education and training providers, policy officers and statutory organisations responsible for developing strategies in this field. We are also working with businesses and employers to develop practices which will enable vulnerable people to gain employment.
One of our main aims is to create opportunities for members to share information and influence policy development. With the support of the Scottish Government, members are working together to establish evidence of good practice, exchange and disseminate information on policy and practice across Scotland, with the aim of mainstreaming good practice in all Scottish local authority areas. We use a range of communication styles to reach our members, including an on-line forum, regular newsletters and seminars, conferences and briefing meetings.
We also carrying out research and identify "success stories" from our members. Through these case studies we are highlighting how employment can provide a route out of homelessness and lead to a secure and sustainable lifestyle.
At the same time, we are also challenging the barriers to employability which homelessness creates, with a focus on welfare reform and employment policy. We are working with our members at both practice and policy levels to find ways of breaking these barriers in order to make employability a realistic and sustainable route out of homelessness in Scotland.