Oxfordshire Homeless Movement has been hosted by Oxfordshire Community Foundation since its inception five years ago and is now ready to become an independent charity to take its work forward, filling gaps in homelessness provision and promoting partnership working.
2018 saw the formation of Oxfordshire Homeless Movement (OHM), a partnership of the many organisations helping those experiencing homeless in Oxfordshire. OHM’s core mission is to ensure that nobody should have to sleep rough on our streets.
Following the City Conversation on homelessness that initiated the partnership, Oxfordshire Community Foundation (OCF) was a natural place to host and nurture OHM, being a neutral organisation providing core infrastructure. This helped OHM to quickly find its feet and focus on its mission.
Now that OHM has established itself and grown, it is the right moment for it to become an independent charity, and for OCF to keep focussing on its core work of encouraging philanthropy and making impactful grants to the local charity sector. This transition was completed at the end of March 2023.
We are delighted that OHM has flourished during this time, working together with local partners to help co-ordinate crucial support services for those in need.
OHM, led by Project Director Yvonne Pinner, has made huge strides in bringing greater visibility to all the county’s work to ensure nobody sleeps rough on our streets. OHM’s partners deliver hard-hitting local projects, bringing hope to people experiencing homelessness.
OHM has taken three key roles in the local homelessness sector:
- Bringing greater visibility to all of Oxfordshire’s work in this area, guiding volunteers, supporters, and people experiencing homelessness via their website and other communications
- Ensuring that the voice of lived experience is heard and that organisations across the county are always in touch with the people their services are actually for, in particular by incubating and funding the award-winning Lived Experience Advisory Forum (LEAF)
- Convening and funding projects that fill critical gaps in services that others cannot, such as their No Recourse to Public Funds project, which helps those who have lost, or can’t access, state-funded benefits and housing, and has so far given warmth and human friendship, a stable home and help to recover from the trauma of homelessness to 16 people.
OHM has also hosted a royal visit, received a High Sheriff’s Award, prevented people returning to the streets after the pandemic, and been instrumental in Oxfordshire’s councils adopting a ground-breaking approach to their homelessness services.
OHM’s Chair Jane Cranston says:
“OHM plays a unique role as a convenor, catalyst for change, fundraiser, and gap-filler in the Oxfordshire homeless sector, helping the councils and other organisations make real progress in reducing rough sleeping. We are proud to have become well established in the sector. We want to thank OCF for helping us to make such a great start.”
OCF’s Chief Executive Officer Zoe Sprigings says:
“We’re thrilled that OHM is now at a stage where the team can take the charity forward themselves. It’s been inspirational to watch OHM champion its vision to overcome homelessness in the county. We look forward to continuing to support OHM and others working to alleviate homelessness in Oxfordshire.”
New way to donate
OCF looks forward to continuing to champion the work of OHM as a crucial charity addressing homelessness in the county. OCF’s core mission continues to be to improve lives and tackle inequality by investing in Oxfordshire’s dynamic charitable sector.
Find out more about OCF’s mission.