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Emily's blog - It's a question of trust...

Hello and welcome to my second blog.

So much has changed since our first newsletter went out. It was very well received and we have a lot of new subscribers so thank you for all the feedback we received.

Since my first blog, we have a new Prime Minister so all eyes are eagerly waiting what new policies are brought to the table as the new administration begins its tenure.

Emily Cole

But it’s been all systems go for the Greater Manchester Housing First team as we continue to engage and re-house people who needed a helping hand.

I’m delighted to say that the fruits of our labour over the short lifespan of the Greater Manchester pilot are starting to be realised.

People are being rehoused and we are engaging with dozens of others with the aim of getting them into permanent accommodation.

It’s the emphasis on relationships with people that sets Housing First apart from more traditional models, but building trust and relationships take time and its time well spent if we get the right outcome for the individual.

We were delighted to have a visit from Jo Prestidge from Housing First England.

Jo visited the Central Team to spend some time discussing key areas around fidelity, outcomes and current challenges. It was great having Jo here and being able to learn and reflect using all of her knowledge and expertise.

We had a really good discussion around the importance of ‘relationship’ and how this in fact comes first between the person in the Housing First programme and the Housing First Worker.

As I said earlier, this can take some time due to a lot of people having been let down by many services before therefore finding it understandably difficult to trust anyone.

Jo highlighted the importance of the relationship and that all evidence shows that if people are put into accommodation too soon, that is not of their choice, then it will not be sustained in the long term.

The principle of choice is fundamental. It’s really common sense as I would not want to live in flat I was told I had to live in with no choice.

It also reminded me of what Dr Sam Tsemberis (inventor of Housing First) had said to us about the relationship being the glue holding the person to their accommodation.

We’d like to thank Jo for her time and her expertise. And speaking of expertise, we had a great couple of days at the Housing First for Practitioner training delivered by Homeless Link for all of the Housing First Workers and Team Leaders in the partnership.

There was such a buzz and energy in the room and it was great to see so many passionate and engaged people who are really ready to be the leaders of this movement at scale in Greater Manchester.

And as the saying goes “Everyday is a school day” is especially true in this pilot with our learning culture and test and learn approach.

The co-production panel delivered training about asset-based approaches and person-centred working.

Who is better placed to be able to train staff on the importance of this approach than people who have experienced services and interactions with professionals that have been focused totally on the negative and not treating them as people?

We have added new faces to the team, including our lovely embedded Researcher, who is part of the research consortium performing the vital evaluation into how the pilot develops and outcomes achieved.

It’s been an incredibly busy time so thanks for reading. In my next blog, I’ll share what we learned when we met our counterparts on the Liverpool pilot.


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