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That was the year that was

Updated: Feb 3, 2021

They say a year is a long time in politics, well I can tell you it’s no time at all in the Greater Manchester Housing First pilot!

It seems like only yesterday that we launched the pilot with Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham and Housing First creator Dr Sam Tsemberis (pictured above).

And now, as Greater Manchester Housing First approaches its first anniversary (where has the time gone??), it’s time to reflect on the achievements and challenges of the past 12 months.

A time to see how far the pilot and the people who work on it and receive the service have come in that time – not an easy task when you’re busy delivering the service and everything seems like it needs to be done yesterday!

We will be doing a full review of the first year; getting feedback from people on the programme, delivery partners and external stakeholders to look at lessons learned and how we can hone and improve our processes – that’s what a test and learn approach is all about.

We will be publishing an end of year report to share our findings in due course so I won’t say anymore here - but watch this space!

The purpose of looking back is to make us stronger as we move forward and planning for Year Two is well underway.

Our first year has been focussed on establishing the partnership and getting the required infrastructure for delivery embedded – no easy feat with eight delivery partners and working across 10 local authorities!

Whilst this year has been more internally focussed at times, next year our plan is to be much more externally focussed, educating organisations around the Housing First model and looking at how we can all work together for the benefit of not only the people on the programme but sharing good practice in supporting people with multiple and complex needs.

We will also be using the creative arts to raise the public’s perception of Housing First and to start this off we will be using Legislative Theatre to use role playing and acting to influence strategy and systems, training up individuals with lived experience to be able to deliver the theatre is really exciting and a great way to bring life real situations that are being experienced due to systemic issues and policy.

Finally the most important message for the end of the year is Thank You.

Thank you to my team, delivery partners, the co-production panel, registered providers, private landlords, local authorities; outreach teams, ABEN staff, CVS partners; Mental Health services, D&A services, offending services, GMCA, MHCLG and most importantly the people on the programme who trusted yet another service and worked with us.

Without everyone pulling in the same direction Housing First simply cannot and will not work.

If it’s true what they say that it takes a village to raise a child, it certainly takes a combined authority and all partners within it to make delivering Housing First at scale achievable.

So thank you to everyone involved and a continuation of the collective responsibility moving into Year Two that will continue to make the pilot a success.

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