Museums and homelessness

After years of declining trends, 2010 marked the turning point when all forms of homelessness began to rise according to the charity Crisis. And the delayed effects of the economic downturn, along with housing and other benefit cuts, means that homelessness is expected to increase further.

Museums and other cultural organisations are increasingly recognising the role they can play in helping people recover from homelessness.

This issue of Museum Practice explores some specific aspects of this work – including creative outreach workshops and art classes; sustainable volunteering programmes; and oral history projects. 

Breaking the homelessness bubble

Can museums help people recover from homelessness?

Barriers to access

How can museums work better with people experiencing homelessness?

Exploring issues around homelessness

Ciara Canning shares some of the challenges Colchester and Ipswich Museums faced in its work with homeless people

Funding homelessness projects

Art classes at the Holburne Museum in Bath are funded externally through short-term grants and donations

Beyond depiction: engaging with homeless adults in the US

Rose Paquet Kinsley introduces her research into how museums in the US could engage with people experiencing homelessness

Developing sustainable volunteer programmes

LTM developed a volunteering programme with homeless charity St Mungo's

Inclusive volunteering

Diverse volunteering teams bring challenges as well as benefits

Telling stories about homelessness

Three case studies demonstrate the benefits and challenges of conducting oral history projects with people who are homeless

Creative outreach with young adults

The British Library worked with adults in supported accommodation to create and curate a photography and creative writing exhibition

Your Case Studies: homelessness and housing

More case studies from museums working with people experiencing homelessness and other housing issues