The Women’s Development Unit

Women can face many different forms of homelessness, including dangerous periods of sleeping rough from which it is difficult to escape. Many women become homeless after experiencing violence and abuse, and more still will experience violence while they are homeless.

Despite this, women are underrepresented in homelessness services which are often designed with the expectation of men as their primary users and in which women often feel unsafe. Vital support services for violence against women and girls (VAWG) can also be inaccessible to women experiencing homelessness and yet could help to increase their safety and end their period of homelessness sooner.

Women experiencing homelessness are often also experiencing multiple forms of disadvantage and are therefore left out of services they need most: our response to women’s homelessness needs to change. 

A joint project between The Connection at St Martin’s and Solace Women’s Aid (Solace), the Women’s Development Unit will work collaboratively with women, services and stakeholders in Central London. Bringing together the wealth of expertise across the homelessness and VAWG sectors, we look to build a strategy and a plan that will make a tangible difference to the lives of women experiencing homelessness. 

The Unit looks to work across the sectors to develop a pan-London women’s homelessness strategy, as well as conducting surveys, interviews, focus groups and workshops to hear the voices of those this impacts and share the good practice that many services are delivering. The Women’s Development Unit is funded by the London Community Foundation.

If you’d like to learn more about the project or would like to work with us, contact the Unit at [email protected]