In response to the predicted increase in homelessness in Edinburgh, Scotland following the COVID-19 pandemic a ‘live’ digital resource, Street Support Edinburgh (SSE), was launched in the city in January 2021. SSE is a website and smartphone application run by Street Support Network (SSN), a registered charity , working online and offline, connecting and supporting local people and organisations to tackle homelessness. The resource is the first of its kind to be implemented in Scotland. This study aimed to assess the implementation of SSE in response to the predicted increase in homelessness in Edinburgh following the COVID-19 pandemic. A qualitative approach was taken to understand users experiences of SSE . The evaluation found a generally positive response to SSE from organisations in the homelessness field. We report on nine themes developed through analysis of the qualitative data: Positive feedback on SSE; Need for SSE resource; Uses of SSE; Joined up working; User-friendliness of SSE; Suggestions for alterations to SSE; COVID-19 and other implementation challenges; Need/opportunities for promotion and engagement; Potential wider rollout across Scotland. In conclusion, initial responses to the launch of SSE have been generally positive but further awareness raising is likely required to increase SSE reach as in-person services and COVID-19 related protections reduce. Ongoing evaluation is required to track progress over time.
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Cuthill, F., Turner, K., Wolters, M., Dadzie, A., Adams, E. & Mercer, S. 2023, 'Evaluation of the implementation of Street Support Edinburgh in response to the predicted increase in homelessness in Edinburgh following the COVID-19 pandemic', International Journal of Homelessness, 3(3), pp. 1-15. https://doi.org/10.5206/ijoh.2023.3.14863