When you’re based in an office, you can’t fully appreciate what happens on the front line, writes Project Manager Mike Hughes.
So I was delighted to get the chance to spend the day with the Zone C Delivery Team, who cover Oldham, Stockport and Tameside).
It was a day that I won’t forget in a hurry and it brought to bare the very real challenges colleagues face in helping people with complex needs but the huge rewards that can be realised by helping someone on their recovery journey.
Our first visit was to an individual who had led a very chaotic life so creating a trust-based relationship was challenging. But I was able to see at first-hand the application of the Housing First principles of person-centred active engagement, concentrating on the needs of the individual not the needs of the service.
Building a relationship may take time, but it’s worth every minute and we don’t give up. That’s the Housing First way!
My next visit was to a recently re-housed person, who was making their house into a real home.
They’d been very busy decorating their new home to create their own little sanctuary.
The sense of home was a theme reinforced by a visit later in the day where I meet with a person who has lived on the street on and off for many years and who was busy in the flat provided to him.
They too had been busy decorating and putting up pictures to make it theirs and create a haven to entertain family and friends.
The sense of pride was palpable and hopefully the rewards are just beginning.
I also visited another rehoused person whose case illustrates partnership working that is required to support some of the people on the pilot.
The person used a wheelchair so required an accessible flat. This took co-ordination between the housing providers, delivery partners and the council’s adult care social team with support from the Housing First worker.
This was team work in action as each part of the service synced perfectly with the others to make a real difference to the individual who was in a much better place then they were when they were referred.
Thank you to Natalie, Saleha and Fi for hosting me. Seeing the hard work of the team has inspired to work harder to deliver my part of the pilot to ensure their side works better too.