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Emily's blog - Home is where the heart is

Updated: Feb 3, 2021

Welcome to my blog. The summer months are now turning to Autumn and the work to help solve the homelessness crisis goes on.

As we head towards longer nights and colder temperatures, it focuses the mind on the needs of the homeless and rough sleepers in our society.

Emily Cole
Emily Cole

Greater Manchester Housing First, and pilots like it, are reshaping the way society tries address this problem – and with this united effort we are making great strides in helping to rehouse people.

And it’s the accommodation that is the key to the success of the programme.

Part of the Housing First remit is giving people autonomy over where they live – to help improve the chances of a successful tenancy.

We are striving to provide ‘homes’ and not just ‘houses’ to the people that are receiving a service.

We have received many property offers to date and I’d like to thank all of the registered providers that have made these offers, it is greatly appreciated. However, we still need more and need to see the property pledges become a reality.

I would urge all RPs that have not yet made a property offer to do so in order that we can continue to provide much needed homes to the people in the programme. You could literally save lives.

On the ground, all of our delivery teams are currently recruiting and the vacancies can be found on their partner’s websites. A link to them can be found in the "Work for us" section of our website.

Our first Dual Diagnosis practitioner is due to start this month, which is really exciting as they will be an invaluable addition to our teams, upskilling and supporting staff when dealing with more complex cases and to provide clinical interventions to those that want it directly or helping people who have previously been excluded from services or unable to access find pathways into provision.

We have also had our second fidelity review competed by Homeless Link last month where front line staff were interviewed to assess how the service is being delivered aligned to the key principles of Housing First.

It was great to receive feedback from the interviewer about how passionate and motivated all of the Housing First workers are!

There’s more good news as Creative Inclusion and Matt Kidd confirmed as the lead organisation by the GMCA to ensure the pilot is continued to be co-produced with people with lived experience at the heart. It is fundamental for us that the pilot is designed and developed by people who have experienced using services at the heart.

Of course, we are just one of a number of pilot projects and, as I mentioned in my last blog, we paid a visit to our colleagues in Liverpool.

It was a great opportunity to meet and discuss how both the pilots are progressing and share learning and discuss challenges.

It is so important that all three pilots - GMCA, LCR, WMCA - remain close throughout the duration of the pilots and support each other sharing good practice and lessons learned as all three pilots have the same goal to provide evidence to roll out Housing First at scale across the UK and integrate Housing First as one intervention in the strategic response to the national homelessness issue.

I’m looking forward to next month where Amanda (LCR), Sharne (WMCA) and I are meeting along with Jo Prestidge (Homeless Link) to carry on the support and knowledge sharing.

In the coming weeks, the Bond Board will start work to open up the Private Rented Sector and we will be working with the co-production panel to co-design our Quality and Assurance Framework.

As you can see, the effort the team is putting in to help tackle the homelessness crisis in Greater Manchester are incredible, and they are bearing real fruit.

But we must continue to work together to make sure we help those who need it most.

Thanks for reading


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