Ethan, a 23-year-old man, joined the Greater Manchester Housing First programme in June 2020.
Like a number of the people on the pilot, he has multiple complex needs including a long history of homelessness, substance misuse, mental health issues and offending.
Due to bad experiences with other homelessness and support services, he had a mistrust of GMHF when we first started working with him and it took a while for his keyworker to build up that trust to the point where Ethan would engage with the service.
He was keen to move into his own property but was the first to admit that the prospect also gave him extreme anxiety.
Taking a person-centred approach, we supported him to move into a property of his choosing. He was given help with registering for an online Universal Credit account, and we arranged for the housing element of his payment to be paid directly to his landlord.
His keyworker also helped him register his gas, water and electric payments, and spent time working with him on money management skills.
Once he was in his flat we were able to access a personalisation fund so that Ethan could buy carpets and white goods and make his house a home.
As Ethan’s trust and engagement with GM Housing First improved, this has had a knock-on effect with other services. He started attending his probation and drug counselling appointments more regularly, often with support from his GMHF keyworker.
On occasions where they’ve been unable to contact Ethan, they can contact his keyworker and together they are able to work through any issues he’s facing as the model is as flexible as the person needs it to be.
Ethan has found himself in a much better place since he started working with GM Housing First. When asked what his plans for the future are he said: “I am not looking too far into the future at present, I’m happy with where I am at the minute and just appreciating that really.”