The UK Branch is a founder funder of Streetwise Opera‘s Arts and Homelessness International (AHI), formerly One Voice, an international arts and homelessness movement which launched in 2016 at the Brazilian Cultural Olympiad.
AHI stemmed from an inspirational live event held with our support at London’s Royal Opera House, which ensured that the creativity of homeless people became part of the 2012 Cultural Olympiad. The immediate success and impact of this early project, which was designed to promote positive attitudes to homeless people as well as increase the self-esteem of those taking part, has ensured that its replication and legacy are being explored both in the UK and internationally.
Since 2012, AHI has reached 13,200 homeless people globally through international exchanges, events, research and training. It has organised over 150 events across the world from Montreal to Tokyo including at the London and Rio Cultural Olympiad; convened the first International Homelessness Summit; commissioned the first International Arts & Homelessness Literature Review; and published advocacy toolkits and practice guides.
AHI’s work has had a profound positive impact on policy: its Jigsaw of Homelessness Support model has been adopted by 3 Local Authorities in UK and at least 20 charities & NGOs in the UN’s Best Practice Guide on homelessness. During lockdown, AHI set up arts programmes in hotels for homeless people (including in collaboration with the Coventry, the City of Culture) and produced 11 resources for the sector. This work was recognised by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government as best practice.
Currently, AHI is creating a ‘hive’ of NGO hubs in Latin America, Africa, Asia and Oceania, pushing for positive change in homelessness in the Global South, with our support.
Visit Arts and Homelessness International’s website for more information.