Holly Eddleston has been with the GM Housing First pilot since July 2020 as a Housing First worker across Zone C (Tameside, Stockport and Oldham) for Jigsaw Support.
I began my GM Housing First role in July of last year having previously worked in homelessness.
I’d heard about the pilot in my previous role and worked alongside HF Workers and people on the pilot and was really keen to get on board myself.
We cover Oldham, Tameside and Stockport and I have a case-load of seven women and I’ve been given the opportunity to build really positive, trusting relationships with people who often struggled to ‘engage’ with services.
I have found that Housing First’s flexible, persistent and intense support allows this type of engagement to get a chance to blossom. At the time of writing, six of these women so far have been supported into their own tenancy through Housing First.
These are women who have struggled with the traditional pathway to housing; had multiple barriers to getting rehoused and have been in and out of homelessness for years.
This is where you see the results of the Housing First model in terms of tackling homelessness, when people who may never have had a settled address have made a place their home.
The relationship building is a big part of being a Housing First Worker. This can often takes time, but not giving up on people, actually listening to what they want from life and supporting them to achieve their own personal goals allows this trusting relationship to develop.
This is when the job is rewarding, when you’re working with that person to get them to a place where they want to be. Each day is different, there are definitely highs and lows, but I work with an amazing team who support one another – and its all worth it to see the difference it’s making in peoples lives.