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About us

What we do

We create and deliver services that no other organisation possibly could. We stop homelessness before it happens and get people who have lived on the streets for years, off the streets for life.

Real world solutions to homelessness

Rowan Alba has created a set of strategically designed services which are effective in coping with the human impact of unsuitable services or policies and addressing the root causes of homelessness in our communities. Rowan Alba’s services often function as a part of pathway from the NHS into the community. What binds these various solutions together is a compassionate approach built around every individual’s needs. 

At the heart of Rowan Alba is a set of critical issues which we see as the main contributing factors leading to homelessness. Through our services we engage and collaborate with the stakeholders and duty-bearers who seek to address these issue in society. The diagram below shows how Rowan Alba and our services relate to these issues.

Creating homes for life for long-term homeless people

Since 2004 Rowan Alba has been shown to be effective at creating supported living solutions for the 10-20% of homeless people for whom the Housing First model is not effective. Our Thorntree Model has been refined over more than 18 years at our Homes-for-life centre on Thorntree Street in Leith, Edinburgh. 

By combining Supported Living and Care at home approaches Thorntree has been able to end the cycle of repeat homelessness /  temporary accommodation for long-term street homeless people. Within Thorntree is a real community where residents take an active role in the running of the centre. To find out more about Thorntree and the experiences of our staff and residents visit our services section.

We are committed to a strategy of extending the Thorntree Model to more accommodation, either through more centres run by Rowan Alba or by supporting other orgs in the implementation of this highly effective approach. If you are interesting in learning how the Thorntree Model works in practice and if it can be applied to your service, contact us. We will be happy to discuss it with you.