In This Together: large grants evaluation report (2022)

The beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic increased the pressure on the services supporting people facing homelessness which have seen an increase in the volume and need of people seeking help at a time when their income and fundraising models are also at risk.

Crisis’ “In This Together” (ITT) programme was set up in the beginning of 2020 to support groups and organisations which were affected by additional demands or expanded their provision to accommodate the exceptional circumstances of the first wave of the pandemic.

As part of the ITT large grants programme, 23 organisations jointly received £832,685, with amounts awarded varying between £10k and £50k. 22 grantees concluded their projects by September 2021. This report is based on the survey and semi-structured interviews, in which 20 and 19 of eligible grantees participated, respectively.

This evaluation focuses on the relevance of the programme, documents the outputs and outcomes, and identifies the challenges and longer-term learning from the funded projects.

The small grants evaluation report was published separately in January 2021.

Key findings:

  • Grantees typically described that ITT funding allowed them to cope with increased demand and complexity of cases. An overarching theme was greater flexibility allowed for by the funding, which in turn led to service design that was more relevant to the clients’ needs, for example, in the form of blended service models (i.e. combining remote and face-to-face service delivery) or integrated services under one roof.
  • In the early days of the pandemic, the ITT large grants were uniquely positioned due to the speed with which funding was made available. Over time, the programme coexisted with many similar emergency funding initiatives. Feedback from some grantees indicates that they had access to a variety of funding, occasionally to the point that they had to refuse extra funds due to not being able to recruit staff in time.
  • The projects funded by the ITT large grants are considerably more focused on ending or preventing homelessness, compared to the ITT small grants:
    For instance, 15 grantees that completed the survey reported supporting a combined total of 646 people into permanent accommodation or preventing their evictions. Grantees further collectively reported 3213 instances of providing housing-related support that resulted in someone’s homelessness being ended or prevented. Grantees further described 370 instances of improving someone’s housing situation where the person was still homeless.
  • Drawing on the findings of other studies, we can conclude that by funding grantees to support clients into self-contained accommodation and to help them sustain their housing, Crisis ITT programme contributed to the reduction in the spread of COVID-19

Reference:

Crisis Research and Evaluation Team. (2022) "In This Together" large grants evaluation. London: Crisis.

 

 
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