As we look back on the past three years, we got the thoughts of some of the colleagues who have worked on the programme to get their reflections of what being a GM Housing First hero means. In the first of our series, we have Jake Owens and Vivan Tafor.
Jake Owens: "Our job is challenging and full of surprises, without the job that we do I really do wonder what would happen to all these people, if they would be in the same position in their life.
I absolutely love my job, I have always wanted to support people and give back to the community, at GM housing first (Petrus) I have managed to find a way to do this, but enjoy my job all the same."
The biggest thing what makes me proud is to see someone making positive steps, someone that has struggled and needed support and has finally found the correct support with us, this being flexible and personalised to how they would like to be supported and what they want from us as a service."
Vivan: "The seven principles by which the service is governed are very crucial in my opinion. They ensure that support and service delivery is in such a way that inspires trust, builds and instils confidence, but very importantly as well, that it restores dignity.
"And talking about dignity, the specific principle of ensuring that 'Individuals have choice and control' particularly stand out. From my experience, by implementing this principle along with the rest, it makes our service users to feel respected and confident.
"From my previous experiences in similar roles, when people did not feel like they were respected, or that they had no self-worth, nor dignity, many of them shied away or gave up support. Sometimes they preferred street-life than support with without respect.
"Few things in life are worth more than individual’s dignity. The Housing First model through its principles ensures that a person’s dignity is not compromised. This in my view and in my experience has been instrumental in shaping how support is embraced."