My name is Jenny Travassos and I joined The Passage in early January. I started working in the sector in 2004 as a volunteer for homelessness charity Broadway, going on to hold various frontline and management roles. In 2014 I joined Westminster City Council where I became Head of Rough Sleeping. During my time with the council, I made substantial changes to enable more specialist accommodation services, developed high level partnerships with health colleagues and introduced two strategies.
I joined The Passage because it is an organisation that is led by its values while also having a strong voice for change; whether that be with central and local government or with our partners across the sector and beyond.
Over the last few months, I’ve spent time listening and learning from colleagues and the people who use our services. The overwhelming message is that we have an opportunity to reflect on what we have learned from working throughout the pandemic and the remarkable outcomes achieved by our teams.
We also have a golden opportunity to review each element of our work to ensure that we do not lose the momentum achieved with the ‘Everyone In’ initiative, which has seen the numbers of people on the streets reduce significantly.
Looking ahead, one of my priorities is further developing our services to meet the future needs of individuals who we are likely to see. For example, rolling out additional preventative services to help stop people from ending up on the streets in the first place. I am also reviewing our employment programmes to ensure that we can respond quickly and help people who have fallen out of work during the pandemic. We will be working closely with our corporate partners and business leaders to increase the number of training and work opportunities available to our clients.
In the coming months, we plan to share more information about the outcomes we achieve, enabling our supporters to better understand the impact of our work. One particular outcome has stood out for me so far; in the past 9 months, we have supported 95 people into longterm sustainable accommodation!
No one organisation can solve homelessness on its own, so I will also be focusing on developing partnerships that build on the great work we do. Our voice and our services will be needed more than ever in the months and years ahead; The Passage has a key role to play in shaping and influencing the policies that affect our work and representing the voices of those who use our services. I look forward to sharing more about these important developments with you.