Updated: Feb 3
Hello and welcome to my latest blog.
Summer has gone (for what is was worth) and autumn is very much here.
And if, like me, you’ve had to scrape ice off your car in the mornings you know winter is on the way and that puts the homeless at an even greater danger.
But we’ve made some fantastic strides over the last couple of months and helping to change lives.
Over the last month, I have spent time shadowing delivery teams across all zones, spending time with Housing First Workers and meeting people on the programme.
This has been a fantastic learning curve as it gives me a chance to see where the pilot can be developed in order to remove any barriers encountered in delivering service.
It’s been great to spend time with such motivated, caring and committed staff that we have delivering Housing First and humbling to meet the people on the programme and see the real human impact the service is having.
The importance of a skilled workforce cannot be underestimated. Our staff and the relationship they have with the people in the programme is the glue that binds everything together.
It is vital that we have a skilled and dedicated workforce with values inline with the principles and ethos of Housing First.
It’s so important that this project is delivered inline with the key principles of Housing First in order to stay true to the ethos, which is a challenge when delivering a project at this scale.
And I’m delighted to say that we had a very positive response from our second fidelity review, completed by Homeless Link. It provided some good recommendations to help to support the programme’s development.
We have also co-produced our own internal Quality and Assurance framework to ensure fidelity remains central to delivery and that a high-fidelity service is delivered across Greater Manchester.
A key aspect of Housing First is exactly that of having housing as the starting point of a person’s journey out of homelessness.
This can be misconstrued as the end of the journey, not the start, once people are in their new homes the hard work starts and we provide a personalised support programme to help people sustain their tenancies whilst also working with them to improve their wellbeing.
Due to the past trauma that people on the programme have experienced, this is not a ‘quick fix’ and the work starts when we hand them the keys, which is why the relationship between the Housing First Worker and the person is so important and requires a lot of time and persistency to build.
Another key principle is choice. People going through the programme have the right to a home and the right to be treated as equal citizens, so the extension of choice is crucial.
Not only does it help to put the power of their recovery in the hands of the person, it also helps to create the best possible chances of creating a sustainable tenancy.