Innovative new service aims to break down barriers to safe housing for minorities women

Solace, in collaboration with Hopscotch Women’s Centre, is proud to announce the expansion of their Housing First Provision, through the Ruby Project, which will focus on reaching out to Black and ethnically minoritised women across all London boroughs. The leading domestic abuse charity has secured funding from Oak Foundation to expand the project in partnership with Hopscotch, whose experience as a specialist in designing and evaluating services for Black and ethnically minoritised women and providing VAWG and culturally appropriate mental health support, will enable the project to reach those with limited access to existing provisions. 

As an award-winning initiative, Solace’s existing Housing First project with Standing Together has been successful in Westminster and Islington since 2019, providing vital support to the most vulnerable women in London experiencing multiple disadvantages such as domestic abuse, substance misuse, and rough sleeping. Recognising that domestic abuse is a leading cause of homelessness among women, Solace’s research has revealed that survivors still face numerous obstacles when seeking accommodation. In response, Solace has developed a comprehensive Housing First service that offers trauma-informed emotional, holistic, and practical support to help women access and maintain secure long-term accommodation.

The research has also highlighted a disparity in the access to Housing First services, particularly with regard to the number of Black and ethnically minoritised women using the service. This gap underscores the urgent need to explore and understand the experiences and barriers faced by women, to address this imbalance and to provide targeted support to underserved communities.

Nahar Choudhury, Solace CEO, says, “Tackling homelessness requires not only addressing the immediate needs but also tackling systemic discrimination and understanding the unique challenges faced by marginalised communities. Through our partnership with Hopscotch, Solace is committed to increasing the inclusivity of our Housing First Service, ensuring that women from all backgrounds have equal access to secure and stable accommodation.’

Benaifer Bhandari, Hopscotch CEO, says, “Hopscotch has decades of experience in supporting marginalised women and girls caught between gender and racial inequity. We look forward to combining our expertise with Solace’s existing provision to ensure we reach all women who need our support with abuse and the associated barriers many of them will face due to the complexity of being a survivor in London right now.”

For more information on the Ruby Project, see Solace’s website:

Note to editors

About Solace:    

SOLACE is a leading specialist charity in the UK supporting women and children experiencing domestic abuse and sexual violence. Whatever form violence comes in, from rape to trafficking to relationships based on psychological or financial control, we work to end it. We know that escaping the effects of violence can be the hardest thing to ever do. That’s why the lifesaving support that Solace provides to over 20,000 women, children, and young people each year is so important.    

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Instagram and X | @SolaceWomensAid   

Facebook | /SolaceWomensAid    

About Hopscotch

​Hopscotch Women’s Centre is a charity that works pan-London to support vulnerable and marginalised women and girls with abuse, isolation, low mental health and poverty.

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Instagram and X | @Hopscotchwc  

Facebook | /HopscotchWC2020 

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