ADD2368 London Homeless Charities Group

Type of decision: 
Assistant Director's decision
Code: 
ADD2368
Date signed: 
30 September 2019
Decision by: 
Rickardo Hyatt, Assistant Director of Housing and Interim Deputy Executive Director

Executive summary

The London Homeless Charities Group is a coalition of 22 homelessness charities in the capital. For the third year running, the group is receiving donations made via the Mayor’s rough sleeping campaign. These are to be disbursed to its members for the provision of direct services to people sleeping rough, or at risk of doing so, in London. This decision approves grant funding of £26,400 to Homeless Link towards the costs of co-ordinating the group in relation to the Mayor’s campaign in 2019/20. This co-ordination role includes tasks relating to group membership, administration, reporting, dispensing donations, data protection, communications, and donor care.

Decision

That the Assistant Director of Housing and Land approves:

grant funding of £26,400 to Homeless Link towards the costs of co-ordinating the London Homeless Charities Group in 2019/20.

Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

In 2017, 18 rough sleeping charities formed the London Homeless Charities Group (LHCG). Its mission statement is as follows:

‘The LHCG is working towards ending homelessness. We are committed to sharing best practice, sharing ideas and developing fundraising campaigns to assist in achieving our goal of ending homelessness. The LHCG believes that each member of the coalition should support work with other organisations that can provide people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness with supportive services and tailored housing solutions.’

The Group has received donations made via the Mayor’s rough sleeping winter campaigns in 2017/18 and 2018/19, amounting to just under £500,000 in total. It is also receiving donations made via the Mayor’s ongoing rough sleeping campaign over the summer of 2019 and will be the beneficiary of donations made during this winter’s campaign. Its membership, currently 22 homelessness charities, is likely to expand slightly this winter.

St Mungo Community Housing Association (St Mungo’s) carried out the administration and oversight role for the LHCG for the first two winter campaigns. We grant funded them last winter to do so. This is now being undertaken Homeless Link. This is the national umbrella body for the homelessness sector and.

Homeless Link have approached the GLA for grant funding towards the cost of co-ordination associated with the group receiving donations via the Mayor’s rough sleeping campaigns during 2019/20. The tasks they propose to carry out include:

• membership: they will manage the membership of the LHCG to ensure that all members who receive donations are registered charities operating in London whose main focus is on tackling or preventing rough sleeping. They will review new applicants and make recommendations to the wider LHCG. They will also ensure members meet their commitment to advertise volunteering opportunities on Team London;
• administration and coordination: they will ensure agreements are in place regarding funding, publicity, and other responsibilities between all LHCG members, the GLA, and all donation platforms and provide the central liaison point between all parties. They will also ensure that all LHCG members are aware of and meet their monitoring obligations, and will aggregate and produce monitoring reports, including information on how the donations were spent, and case studies of beneficiaries. They will liaise with the LHCG’s steering group, a rolling membership group of several of the LHCG charities; and
• donation administration: they will respond to comments and questions on the donation platform site. They will ensure they have the information needed to distribute donations to LHCG members at agreed times over the course of the campaign and engage with the company providing the donation platform on areas relevant to processing of donations, and will administer electronic administrative support to contactless payments.

Resource is needed for management time, support on specialist matters and press and PR activities.

The total cost of the above activities, and the sum requested from the GLA to cover them, is £26,400. Homeless Link has the necessary infrastructure to administer these activities.

As Homeless Link is the sector’s umbrella body, and no other LHCG member charities have volunteered to take on the administration role following consultation within the group, no formal competition process for this grant funding is deemed appropriate.

Objectives and expected outcomes

To maximise donations by Londoners via the Mayor’s 2019/20 winter rough sleeping campaign, by providing a single donation point.

To ensure that donations are correctly disbursed to and used by LHCG members, to prevent and tackle rough sleeping in London.

To ensure that there is comprehensive and robust monitoring information on how donations are used by the LHCG members.

Equality comments

Under Section 149 of the Equality Act 2010, as a public authority, the GLA must have ‘due regard’ of the need to:

• eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation; and
• advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations between people who have a protected characteristic and those who do not.

Of those seen rough sleeping in 2018/19:

• 51 per cent were non-UK nationals;
• 50 per cent had a mental health need;
• 16 per cent were women;
• most of those seen rough sleeping (56 per cent) were in the 26-45 age group;
• eight per cent were under 26 years old;
• 11 per cent were over 55; and
• five people were under 18.

As rough sleepers are over-represented among those with the protected characteristics of race and disability, the proposals in this paper are likely to have positive impacts on these groups. By facilitating the raising of funds to help this group of people, the donations raised because of the campaign, and which would not be possible without the funding of this post, will positively impact those with protected characteristics who access the services that the donation allow the 22 charities to offer.

Some LHCG members focus all their work on, or run specific projects for, groups with protected characteristics. Examples include the Albert Kennedy Trust, which works with young LGBTQ+ people, and projects for those with mental or physical health support needs.

Other considerations

Key risks and issues:

 

Risk description

 

Rating

 

Mitigating action

 

The work required will exceed estimations of time and expertise.

Medium risk

 

Experience of running the campaign for the last two years enables a reasonable prediction of the resource required.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Links to Mayoral strategies and priorities:

 

  1. The objectives of the proposals further the Mayor’s London Housing Strategy, which includes a commitment that ‘Rough sleepers should be supported off the streets as quickly and sustainably as possible.’.

 

Impact assessments and consultations:

 

  1. The London Housing Strategy has been subject to a full-integrated impact assessment (https://www.london.gov.uk/sites/default/files/2018_lhs_impact_assessment...) and statutory consultation.  

 

Financial comments

This decision requests approval for a grant of £26,400 to be paid to Homeless Link to fund the costs of co-ordinating the London Homeless Charities Group for 2019/20.

The funds will cover the costs of:

• managing the membership of the LHCG;
• administrating agreements and providing a central liaison point; and
• administrating donations and responding to comments and questions on the donation site.

Further details are set out in paragraphs 1.4 and 1.5 above.

The above expenditure will be funded from the Housing and Land, Management and Consultancy budget and is expected to be incurred in 2019-20.

Activity table

Activity

Timeline

Delivery start date

October 2019

Campaign-related activity

To end of March 2020

Post-campaign activity – monitoring reports

To September 2019

Delivery end date

September 2020


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