Tips for organisations that support people experiencing homelessness

Organise Gambling Harm Training for staff

This Toolkit is an accompaniment to The Homelessness and Gambling Harm E-Learning (link) which is available free on Simon Community Scotland and Fast Forward’s websites. The training will provide you with a more in-depth understanding of the links between homelessness and gambling harm. Alongside this training, staff can continue their learn about gambling and gambling harm by:

  • Attending webinars hosted by The Scottish Gambling Education Hub or GamCare
  • Reading reports and watching videos produced by Gamble Aware
  • Listening to podcasts produced by service providers in The National Gambling Support Network
  • Inviting an organisation who specialises in gambling harm treatment and support to speak to staff

Staff can familiarise themselves with The Support Pathway in Section 6 and use the support resources on GambleAware’s website to ensure they feel confident when holding conversations about gambling and gambling harm with someone they are supporting. The more people read, use and understand these resources, the more confident they will become when speaking to someone they are supporting about gambling and gambling harm.

Ensure staff are confident to hold conversations about gambling harm and signpost people effectively to relevant services

Reduce stigma and raise awareness with the people you support

Contact The Scottish Gambling Education Hub or GamCare to request free leaflets to place in your services. If people you are supporting see support leaflets they will know you offer support or signposting, understand that gambling can be harmful and will be able to read more about gambling harms.

Normalising talk about gambling and gambling harm reduces the stigma of gambling harm among people. Conversation Cafés are a great way to talk about gambling, gambling harm and the gambling industry in an informal setting. These spaces can allow people to discuss the gambling industry, as a whole, instead of their own personal experiences of gambling.

Futher resources you can use: The Sense of Gambling (Activities)

Initial Assessment Question

‘The Gambling Harm Question’ is used to identify people who have experienced or been affected by gambling harms. Many people who are experiencing homelessness have experienced other traumatic events in their lifetime, so may not view gambling as harmful. Using the follow-up question after the ‘trigger question’ encourages people to think about how gambling may have impacted their lives on a wider scale.

Has your gambling or the gambling of someone close to you ever impacted on your life?

Follow up questions:

  • Has your gambling or the gambling of someone else ever close to you impacted on a relationship?
  • Have you ever worried about money because of your or someone else’s gambling?
  • Has your gambling or the gambling of someone close to you ever caused you stress or anxiety?

Is your own gambling or that of someone else causing you any worries?

If this question is included in an initial assessment when someone presents at an organisation for support, it could mean that people experiencing or affected by gambling harm can be signposted to relevant support services quickly and effectively. It ensures that people receive garbling harm support and it could, potentially, support their exit and transition from homelessness.