boots by a gate

Members' newsletter archive

Every month - with just the occasional lapse - we produce an 'Editor's Selection' of half a dozen or so recent published papers, video or podcasts that are particularly relevant to PIEs. 

In the panel opposite, you can see the title and a very quick summary of the main items, in each of the selection from recent newsletters. If you want to look up any item, check the date, and then click through to the MailChimp link, which is where they are stored.

Most newsletters contain news items, too, that members have sent in. This can be a good way to advertise an event, or publication of a paper. But you can also post an items in the News and Events page. 


Guest editing

We would be happy to invite others to take a turn at guest editing the newsletter. Just drop us an email, and we can talk over what it entails..






Past newsletters.

For the full archive of newsletters click HERE.



NB: Here you will find primarily material in video form from the 'Making It Count' research and evidence conference on PIEs, London, 31st Feb 2017.   But also some additional video that is well worth a look: on introducing reflective practice, and on a new approach - pretreatment therapy.

Robin Johnson and Claire Ritchie, jointly presenting the conference introduction, with
"A very brief history of PIEs';  VIDEO HERE
"The key elements of a PIE" : VIDEO HERE; and
"A VERY brief future of PIEs' : VIDEO HERE 

"The lessons learned from an evaluation of facilitated PIEs training", by Sophie BoobisVIDEO HERE

"Using Open Dialogue in research and development"Sophie Boobis and Ray Middleton co-presenting on their own journey into co-working : VIDEO HERE

"How to conduct client-centred research with people with complex needs". with Becky Rice and Juliette Howe VIDEO HERE

"Using multiple data sources to show effectiveness with complex needs"Grant Everitt of Opportunity Nottingham (and Framework Housing),  VIDEO HERE

"A brief future of PIEs" -  Robin Johnson on proposals for a new PIEs self assessment and specification framework - the PIE Abacus (NB: this a longer version of the morning's introduction, described as the VERY brief future; VIDEO HERE

And also:
John Conolly, at the Homeless Health conference, on integrating pre-treatment with therapy, for  multiple exclusion homelessness.  VIDEO HERE

Renzo Cardosi of Ypeople, East Kilbride, interviews Robin Johnson on "What do we know of the value of reflective practice?" : VIDEO HERE


Service development reports, training resources, recent research, and food for thought: the monthly essay:
Originally embargo’ed during a round of local contract tendering, Ypeople’s are now releasing this outline for developing a clubhouse model, as one version of the PIE.
Find it HERE.
Housing First: a case study of Fulfilling Lives - early stage evaluation report 
This is an early findings report on the introduction of Housing First in the London boroughs of Camden and Islington as part of the Fulfilling Lives programme pilots on tackling complex needs and multiple exclusion.
Find it HERE
Surviving homelessness: rebuilding lives and mental well-being
A very effective training video offered (free) as a resource for new staff and volunteers. Produced to a very good professional standard by Community Advance Project, this video is nevertheless also very person-centred, focussing on the experience both of homeless people themselves, and the workers working with them.
Find it HERE.

Reflective Practice
In this video, Renzo Cardosi of Ypeople interviews Robin Johnson on the value of reflective practice, and the various ways it might be introduced.
Find it HERE.
Loneliness and Social Isolation as Risk Factors for Mortality: A Meta analysis
This summary of multiple published studies, which finds that loneliness is as significant a cause of mortality as many other features such as smoking or diabetes, has implications for what we should regard as a satisfactory outcome in housing of those most at risk of social exclusion.
Find it HERE.
Highways and Buyways:  A snapshot of UK drug scenes 2016
A survey by DrugWise on recent street drug developments and usage covers synthetic cannabinoids (aka Spice)and other street drugs. We re-publish it here both for its inherent information value, and as an example of independent and committed research .
Find it HERE.
Change, Justice and Fairness 
Why should we have to move everywhere and everything because of him?”   A participatory action research report from Scotland on homelessness as a result of domestic or sexual abuse has findings that doubtless apply over the border, and across all borders.
Find it HERE.
The neuroscience of singing
On a more up-beat note:  a summary of research on the health benefits of singing together suggests that participation in groups enhances even very simple ‘feel good’ activities and has both immediate and long term benefits
Find it HERE.
The monthly essay -   Housing First: addressing the community dimension
February’s essay builds on a number of discussions in both the US and the UK, exploring the evolution of the Housing First model from one that looks solely at tenancy rights and individualised support, to one that considers the value of a sense of belonging, and of peer support, with a community work model.
Find it HERE.



NB: January's newsletter began with one early announcement - of a forthcoming conference; two attractive free offers  - process consultancy and "training, grant-funding, peer to peer support and expert advice" on SROI;  and three invitations to participate in PIE developments, including the "PIE clinics",   Plus :

"Live, learn, grow; supporting transitions to adulthood for homeless youth" a report from the Canadian HomelessHub that endorses the foyers model, and suggests - refreshingly! - that services in Canada have much to learn from such services in the UK. 

'Ending homelessness faster by focussing on 'what works' Towards a world-leading centre for homelessness impact'. Glasgow Housing Network are proposing the creation of a new study centre devoted to research on impact of homelessness interventions. This report, by Ligia Texeira of Crisis, is a feasibility study and outline business case for the proposed centre.

'St Basils Psychologically Informed Environments – meeting the emotional and psychological needs of young homeless people''. This report and evaluation study of the introduction of a PIE framework by researchers at the local university shows not just the impact of the development, but also the value in making links with local universities.

'Traumatic brain injury and offending described as 'an economic analysis', but it also covers the scale and the consequences of TBI, and may be useful, especially for those working with younger offenders.



New thoughts on:  Is the PIE evolving? a thread of new PIElink exploring how the PIEs concept and practice has evolved over 5 years; and suggesting the early outline of a revised version, for the future. 

Three new items exploring issues for women and homelessness, from Changing Lives' Gap project on harm reduction working with sex workers, and a new approach from GDASS, using a strengths model and target hardening, to escaping domestic violence; plus an item from BBC Radio's Women's Hour on women, exclusion and rehab, that you may well have missed. 

The French connection:  Une conversation avec Anne-Paul Lerosier  is the first of a thread of discussions and presentations in French.

From Labour List - a briefing for activists - we have the first hints of Labour's approach to homelessness,

A reminder that January 31st 2017 would see the National conference on research and evaluation of PIEs.

Plus not one but TWO monthly essays:  December’s essay “Everything you ever wanted to know about PIEs, but were afraid to ask”   and also  “ A way of life?” – a personal comment on time when you are homeless, in prose poem form, from Paul Ashton, published belatedly as the November essay.


November 2016

November's newsletter is a special issue, devoted to research and evaluation of PIEs, with

News of the forthcoming conference, Making it count.

Research mapping; a call for details of any published, current, ongoing or planned research that members are willing to share.

PIEs evaluation framework: a working party to explore a new approach - Distance travelled


September 2016 offers three fresh perspectives on Housing First in the US
From the editor's field trip to the US in the Spring, we have a batch of videos with up-to-date news on how Housing First (HF) has been and is still being developed there.

 The development of Father Bill's and Mainspring services   John Yaswinski and April Connolly describe the needs-led evolution of their homeless services in Quincey, Massachusetts, as one of the pioneers of Housing First.

Why HF developed in the US when it did  The conversation with John Yaswinski and April Connolly continues, turning into a more in-depth exploration of how 'reforms' to mental health services in the US let so many drop through - creating a whole new client group with complex needs that previous service models had not been geared for.

A more skeptical view of how individuals are housed via Housing First  A very different view of Housing First from Ann Arbor, Michigan, and the  Groundcover street newspaper team team.

Street homelessness and the need for community; Groundcover's Kiela Crabtree talks of the strength of community in street homelessness, and the need for services supporting individuals to be aware of and respect those needs.

From initial creativity to a government-mandated programme; the strengths and weakness of this shift.  Jay Levy is a supporter of HF; but well aware of how it can be - and has been - over-promoted as the panacea for all ills. 

A PIE of pathways: providing continuity for fragmented selves Jay then describes the work of his own team, the REACH service in Western  Massachusetts, in providing valuable continuity through all the stages of recovery to housing.


August 2016

Impact claim: how can you be sure you cause the change?
A short think piece, and an introduction to Sinzer's useful (and free) easy-reading step-by-step guide to Social Return On Investment.

"But surely they choose to live like this?"
A podcast from Jay Levy, on that awkward question that so many - politicians in particular -  still seem to ask shows, once again, the importance of finding the words to explain ourselves to each other. 

Loving Beggars: how to escape from stereotypes about street people
A provocative think piece by Cambridge University anthropologist Johannes Lenhard, on starting to see relationships between street beggars.

Wodehouse Eaves; dismantling the 'leaving care' crisis.
An account by Robin Johnson of an adolescents' hostel run by Social Services in North London in the 1970s which challenged conventional thinking, and raises some interesting questions now about the role of a "home", and the nature of authority and community.

A review of nature-based interventions for mental health care,
This report, by Rachel Bragg and Gavin Atkins, was commissioned by Natural England. It covers a lot of the challenges in research and commissioning for environment-based approaches.

'The PIE report is live!'
Ray Middleton's first blog describes Fulfilling Lives'  evaluation of developing PIEs ( as reported also in last month's newsletter). 

Randomised controlled trial of GP-led in-hospital management of homeless people (‘Pathway’)
The Faculty's Nigel Hewett (and others) report on an RCT trial of a primary care led healthcare for the homeless in hospital. It's HERE.


July 2016

In On outreach and community an interview with Brendan Plante, we hear, amongst other things, the story of how 200 people turned out for the funeral of a local homeless man.

"Evaluation of a Dialogical Psychologically Informed Environment (PIE) Pilot" - a study for Fulfilling Lives of the implementation of the PIE framework in three selected services in the North East. 

"Saving Lives, Saving Money", is an evaluation by the Young Foundation of the homeless healthcare peer support advocacy service, provided by Groundswell, in London; and

'Progression Together"  a study by the Mental Health Foundation of personalised, self-directed support (SDS), in three step-down residential care units run by Together.


June 2016

"Six key principles of a trauma informed approach" - a summary, from the US Mental Health and Substance Abuse Agency

"How Common Trauma Reactions May Explain Some 'Difficult' Behaviors or Reactions Within Homeless Service Settings" by Elizabeth Hopper and colleagues; 

"Trauma in human experience" - an introduction to the concept of trauma, and complex trauma, from Robin Johnson.  

'Camp Take Notice', a short film on a democratic community created by and for homeless people in Ann Arbor, Michigan


April & May : no newsletter - the Editor was away


March 2016

Is a PIE just about homelessness? A new (and mercifully short) thinkpiece from Robin Johnson:  

Participatory appraisal Zack Ahmed on a useful tool for facilitating service users engagement in service design and gap mapping;  

How a 'politics of listening' could change Britain. A view from the rough sleepers sandwich run on Jeremy Corbyn's new politics   

The PIElink members' questionnaire asks: what works, here, and what doesn't work, for you? Your chance to have a say in what we do next.


February 2016

An interview with Sophie Boobis on Newcastle & Gateshead's approach to evaluation of three PIE pilot schemes

Mental Health Foundation's literature and evidence review on PIEs;  

Kenny Forsyth of Streetworks,  on trauma in homelessness

Ruth Franciska on using her car as a PIE. 

HomelessLink's webinar with Jo Prestidge and Claire Ritchie on the close relationship between PIEs and Trauma Informed Care 


January 2016

Two chapters from Jay Levy's brilliant Pretreatment books;  

"Take a chance on me" with Dick Laban on the pre-contemplative stage:

Three new recorded Blab (live streamed) discussions with Ray Middleton : on PIEs, on pretreatment and on Open Dialogue ('healing conversations').

The Alliance for Useful Evidence publishes a free practice guide on Using Research Evidence.: and

a preview of an article from Robin Johnson on Housing First, PIEs, Trauma Informed Care, pretreatment and system change brokering.


December 2015

YPeople launch their ClubHouse PIE development plan;

Nick Maguire quizzes Robin Johnson  on defining homelessness   

Creating a Psychologically Informed Environment’: by Claire Ritchie, for Westminster City Council