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Matt Downie MBE

Director of Policy and External Affairs, Crisis

Matt has worked at Crisis since 2014. In 2019 he was awarded an MBE for services to tackling homelessness. Prior to Crisis Matt worked at Action for Children.

Blogs from this author

Today, the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) has presented an ambitious plan for ending homelessnes...


In recent weeks and months, we’ve learned that a number of Crisis clients have been caught up in the Government’s policy to detain rough sleepers from the European Economic Area (EEA) and send them back to their country of origin. It’s hard to imagine UK nationals ever being treated with such little respect for their wishes or wellbeing, and we’re urging the Government to suspend this policy immediately.


This year, homelessness has finally returned to the political agenda, and with 160,000 households...


The last few months have seen Housing First break through into the homelessness and political agenda in the UK. Crisis has enthusiastically promoted the potential contribution it can make because the evidence base for the outcomes it achieves is compelling.


In April last year, Crisis turned 50. While this milestone is usually an achievement for an organ...


It is time to repeal the Vagrancy Act, yes. But if the answer was ever about whether to criminalise people, then we have been asking the wrong question. If we can see our way past labelling, grouping, dismissing, damning, pointlessly prosecuting and fining people, perhaps we can start answering the right question. What help and support do people need to realise their potential, and how quickly can we get it to everyone that needs it?


This week saw the start of an exciting new piece of work to identify how we can improve homelessness prevention in Scotland so that as few people as possible ever become homeless.


As the dust settles on the general election, we can reflect on the fact that every political party made significant manifesto pledges to tackle homelessness. It seems the political class is now agreed that something must be done about the emergency of 170,000 people and households who are homeless.