We’re at the start of our advocacy journey but we’ve got big ideas and have achieved a lot.

Policy and advocacy campaigning

As a London homeless charity, based in the heart of Westminster and just a short walk from the House of Commons, we’re in a prime location to make change at a national level. We’re working directly with politicians to get this done.

To end homelessness for good, we need to address the systemic issues that result in people becoming homeless and then not getting the support they need.

Homelessness is preventable, and with the right policies and support in place, no one should be in this position.

Thats why, through our work supporting the most vulnerable people in our society, we have highlighted the following three key areas that will make the most impact on rough sleeping.

  • Urgently invest in affordable and suitable social housing for people with complex needs
  • Invest in flexible mental health and addiction services for people with complex needs
  • Ensure gender-specific support for women from commissioning to service design and delivery
  • These policy asks can be viewed in full here

    The Connection at St. Martin’s is working to give a voice to the people we support so that those in power listen.

    We are determined to use our unique position in Westminster and expertise to fight against homelessness and call for the policy changes we know would help people to avoid and escape homelessness.

    We work with partners in the charity sector, talk to people with lived experience and build relationships with those in power to make changes, to see where we can make a difference.

    As part of this, we sit on the advisory group of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Ending Homelessness, and are part of the Inequalities in Health Alliance and Joseph Rowntree Trust Anti-Poverty Coalition.

    To support our campaigning work, please make sure that you are subscribed to our newsletter and please contact our Advocacy Coordinator if you would like to hear more about our work.

    Improving access to addiction treatment

    We surveyed some of the people we support to find out what they were struggling with most.

    graph on substance misuse - advocacy
    Many people are extremely vulnerable in Westminster but are not being offered appropriate support that can help break the cycles of addiction and rough sleeping. They deserve better.

    The Connection is working to explore the treatment options available for these people, and the barriers to access they face. We will be testing new approaches to strengthen evidence on what works, and advocating for better availability of support.

    Please make sure you are subscribed to our newsletter to receive updates on this work and details of how to support with future campaigning.

    The Connection policy and advocacy news

    We’ve reached great milestones in our advocacy work so far. This includes:

    In the last five years, our advocacy actions have had a far reaching impact. These include:

  • March 2024: We launched our policy asks ahead of the upcoming election.
  • February 2024: We responded to the consultation on acute mental health care in Westminster
  • 2023: We have been supporting Crisis’s work to prevent people experiencing homelessness being criminalised under the Criminal Justice Bill
  • 2022:We responded to the government’s consultation on repealing The Vagrancy Act.
  • 2020/21: We were on the front line of the Everyone In pandemic response, which hugely influenced our policy work.
  • 2020: We presented our 5 policy changes document to Prime Minister Boris Johnson when he visited us at The Connection.
  • 2019: We began our advocacy work by conducting a wide-ranging consultation with all of our service teams to find out the barriers they faced in supporting people out of homelessness. We took people’s experiences into consideration and designed five policies which could lead to meaningful, long-term and significant change for people sleeping rough.
  • We can’t wait to keep this momentum going to continue making real changes around homelessness. We’ll keep you posted on our latest updates here.

    To support this work, write to your MP and make sure they know we want to make homelessness a thing of the past.