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System Broker Alex Secures Place on Homeless Link’s 2017 Transatlantic Exchange

A System Broker from Fulfilling Lives Newcastle Gateshead has gained the opportunity of a lifetime through Homeless Link’s Transatlantic Exchange.

Alex Smith, one of Fulfilling Lives NG’s three System Brokers, applied for the 2017 programme which sees frontline charity workers from the UK and across the pond join each other’s organisations for a fortnight to gain insight into best practice on a global level and share their learning on their return.

Alex will be heading to LA in May 2017 to meet with Brilliant Corners and explore how a critical time intervention approach can inform support interventions on high risk transitions such as prison discharge. She will then be able to bring this learning back to Newcastle and Gateshead to best support the Fulfilling Lives clients in these transition points.

‘After we hosted a participant in last year’s exchange, Kendra Lutes from Terry Reilly in Idaho, I was determined to apply for the 2017 Exchange.  I had a telephone interview with Anna Blasco from the National Alliance to End Homelessness in January and I was so excited to find out I had been selected for this year’s Exchange!

I’ve been busy getting everything organised and will be flying out on 7th May to start the adventure.’

– Alex Smith, Fulfilling Lives Newcastle Gateshead’s System Broker who will be heading over to LA next month for the Homeless Link Transatlantic Exchange

Brilliant Corners is a non-profit supportive housing agency serving people with developmental disabilities and other special needs in the San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles County, including individuals transitioning from homelessness, institutional settings, and homeless Veterans.

Each year, five participants from across the UK complete funded placements through Homeless Link’s Transatlantic Exchange, and services here volunteer to host five people from the US.

Alex isn’t the only person from the national Fulfilling Lives programme taking part in this year’s Exchange. Ruth Wallbank from VOICES in Stoke will be heading to Michigan to examine how a strengths-based approach that starts from an underlying principle of client empowerment can enable systems change.

Find out more about the five UK delegates in this year’s Exchange here.