An essential part of our project delivery is continuous review and evaluation, in order to seek ways to improve and also connect services available to those facing multiple and complex needs. As a result of this, we have identified that an innovative project titled Housing First could have a significant impact for some or all of our Beneficiaries.
The Housing First model is purposely designed for those who need significant levels of help to enable them to leave homelessness. Described as probably the single most important innovation in homelessness service design in the last 30 years, the model was developed by Dr Sam Tsemberis from Pathways in New York. It aims to ensure those experiencing homelessness have a high degree of choice and control, and whilst actively encouraging service-users to minimise their use of drugs and alcohol/seek treatment, it does not require them to do so in order to access the service. This is a very different approach from many other models, whereby service-users are usually required to abstain from drug and alcohol use before accessing housing. Housing First uses housing as a starting point rather than an end goal, with housing secured and accessed prior to other needs being addressed. There is also a focus on health, well-being and social support networks as part of the on-going work once a person is housed.
As a project, we are now in the process of scoping out the delivery of a Housing First project here in Nottingham City. Due to the nature of this work, we have a number of potential barriers to consider including access to suitable and affordable accommodation in both the social and private rented sectors. We will provide further updates as we move towards delivery of this piece of work.
You can find out more about Housing First in this short video.