We were driven by the need to know why one particular group of individuals was trapped in the revolving door of homelessness, crime and mental health problems. Our goal was to transform the lives of people who were being let down by a system that was routinely failing them.
We started by gathering evidence. Our researchers worked in police stations, prisons and other places where our group was regularly present.
By the millennium, we had become acknowledged pioneers in our field. We had a unique reputation for involving people who have suffered the effects of the revolving door in every aspect of our work. Our team had taken ownership of a national problem and was finding answers where nobody had previously thought to look.
We launched our first national lived experience forum. From being an ‘invisible’ group as late as the 1990s, those suffering multiple problems had become the subject of national discussion and debate. Revolving Doors is proud to have led that change for people experiencing homelessness, mental health issues, substance misuse, domestic violence, repeat victimisation and offending.
The Link Worker scheme offers practical and emotional support to people who are suffering the effects of the revolving door. These people are shown how to make contact with those who can help them tackle the underlying causes of their offending. The Link Worker approach has now been adopted by a range of organisations.
By placing mental health and other complex needs specialists in police stations and courts, offenders with mental health, learning disability or substance misuse vulnerabilities can be identified quickly. They can then be supported during their sentence or perhaps diverted into the care of a health or social care service.