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Concrete’s Head of Homelessness shares safeguarding expertise with sector

Concrete’s Head of Homelessness shares safeguarding expertise with sector

This week we’re sharing the expertise of our Head of Homelessness & Complex Needs, Bruno Ornelas.

Bruno guides our teams to deliver positive outcomes for customers and make homelessness history – but his work doesn’t stop there!

At Concrete we’re leaders in the real-home, real-change movement. We’re always so excited to share knowledge and work with new providers throughout the UK to create lasting change on the issue of homelessness.

That’s why outside of his role as a charity leader, Bruno is a safeguarding consultant who is passionate about supporting sector research and sharing his expertise nationally.

Last month he worked with colleagues from Kings College London, Jess Harris and Stan Burridge, to co-deliver the university’s ‘Safeguarding responses to homelessness and self-neglect’ webinar.

The webinar was part of a three-year National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) funded study. The study explores how self-neglect is experienced by people who are homeless and how this can be addressed and improved through strengthening local adult safeguarding responses.

Over 300 people from across the sector attended the session and listened to Bruno share his expert perspective on the study. So far it has found that adult safeguarding is often inaccessible for people experiencing multiple exclusion homelessness (MEH). This isn’t due to bad practice, but attitudes, service gaps and barriers across systems.

Last year Bruno also contributed to ‘Adult Safeguarding and Homelessness: Understanding Good Practice’ as an author.

The book is an accessible resource for professionals working within the sector, particularly with individuals experiencing multiple exclusion homelessness. Bruno shared his knowledge around safeguarding and wrote a chapter on ‘assessments and safeguarding.’

Concrete’s Head of Homelessness & Complex Needs, Bruno Ornelas

Speaking about safeguarding, Bruno said: “In a previous role I had the opportunity to specialise in adult safeguarding, so I’m really passionate about it. Through that I was able to engage with different local authorities and services.

“I was also asked to do a safeguarding adult review, which I’m really proud of. It was a difficult piece of work because it involved a set of tough circumstances, but it had a really positive impact as we were able to learn from a particular authority and see what they were going to change.”

Bruno started his career in homelessness as a volunteer, before taking on different roles in rough sleeping outreach and hostels. He joined us as Head of Homelessness & Complex Needs in 2021.

On his work in the homelessness sector, he said: “There’s a lack of knowledge and a lack of understanding around homelessness.

“One of the biggest misconceptions is when we simplify people’s experience by saying it’s a personal choice. Homelessness is often a symptom of things like long term trauma, and just providing a house is absolutely part of the solution, but with that must come wraparound support.”

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