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Emily's blog - And the GM Housing First journey begins...

Hello and welcome to the GM Housing First newsletter and to my first blog.

To introduce myself, I’m Emily Cole – the GMHF Programme Lead. I’ll be driving the development of the pilot with the help of our partners, stakeholders and centrally people with lived experience over the three-year period.

Memories are still fresh from the launch event, and what a fantastic event it was and also how special it was for me to spend some time with Dr Sam Tsemberis who developed the Housing First model and for the team to receive training directly from him, which was truly inspirational.

I’d like to reiterate my heartfelt appreciation to everyone who attended to help us officially launch the initiative and to all the speakers for their time.

It was great to see so many people gathered together to help us launch a project that will help change lives for hundreds of people over the course of the project and instigate system transformation where we aim to ‘change the process not the person.’

There were many great speakers, but the words from the GMCA co-production panel were incredibly powerful, and with their input we are aiming to provide a service that will create a blueprint for Housing First projects in the future.

They are the ones who have been through the alternative processes and they will help us create a service that will work where others have failed.

The official launch of the programme, so was quite an emotional day for me as it really does feel that we are at the start of an incredible journey that has the potential to shape and influence future commissioning in this country.

We were delighted to get all the four zones live across Greater Manchester. It’s been a lot of work to get the zones live so thank you to everyone.

As a reminder, the zones are divided up as follows:

Zone A – Manchester. Partners – Riverside

Zone B – Bolton, Bury and Rochdale. Partners – Regenda Homes, the Bond Board

Zone C – Oldham, Stockport, Tameside. Partners – Jigsaw, Stockport Homes

Zone D – Salford, Trafford, Wigan. Great Places.

Alongside this, we have been defining processes, documentation and measures as well as recruiting for the front line staff across all zones and partners.

We’ve been holding workshops to define processes and out comes with our delivery partners and the co-production panel; the importance of the input from them cannot be overstated. Their passion and commitment has been astounding and we’re so lucky to have them involved.

We’re also lucky to have fantastic partners in Greater Manchester Housing Providers who have been making properties available across Greater Manchester.

It is this joined up approach that will help us give people a chance to get a roof over their head – which we believe is a basic human right – and allow us to provide the intensive wraparound support to people to ensure tenancies are sustained.

We’ve also been working with the Ethical Lettings Agency and the Bond Board to help us to access the private rented market.

This is a market that is normally out of reach for our cohorts so this will help to drive the project into new areas.

And to have properties available is fantastic as the first referrals are coming through and staff are starting the important pre-tenancy work and building relationships and trust which is so important before people move into the home of their choice.

As you can see, there hasn’t been a dull moment since the launch and there’s a lot more to do – and we’ll keep you up to date on the website and through this newsletter.

Please also follow us on Twitter @gmhousingfirst and help us to spread the word about this project.

Thanks for reading



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