Glasgow City Health and Social Care Partnership Shortlisted in Local Government Chronicle Awards
Glasgow City Health and Social Care Partnership has been shortlisted in the Health and Social Care category for this year’s Local Government Chronicle Awards 2019 for the redesign of Homelessness Services to a Housing First approach. The Awards recognise and reward the very best in local government and the winners will be announced on 13 March 2019.
Housing First is a well evidenced approach to tackling homelessness and shifts services from the traditional option of residential to supporting people in their own tenancy. Housing First minimises time spent in and the need for emergency accommodation. It is about rapidly rehousing multiply-excluded people in a community as the first, rather than the last step.
Angela Dowdalls, Principal Officer, Glasgow City Health and SociaLCare Partnership along with colleagues from the Wheatley Group and the Salvation Army presented success stories from Housing First to the judging panel in London on Friday 25 January.
Angela said: “A small HSCP project team was quickly drawn from existing resources including commissioning, homelessness and addiction services and given the task to develop a project plan and develop the multi-agency Housing First Project Plan. The team was extended to include the Salvation Army to provide a Housing First Assertive Outreach Support, The Wheatley Group to provide the 54 tenancies and The Social Bite Charity for financial support to the individual to furnish their tenancies, this offered the individual choice.”
A multi-disciplinary operational team was developed to progress the assessment, support planning and service delivery to all of the vulnerable men involved in the Housing First Service. This team included staff from the HSCP, support provider, housing officers and health staff. The multi-agency Assessment Team reviewed a total of 84 vulnerable men, with 33 men receiving a Housing First approach which included a Scottish secure tenancy with an intensive, assertive outreach support package. In addition they received a choice of furnishings, essential household items and food provision for the first few weeks in their tenancies. The additional 51 men progressed to alternative accommodation options, the most being their own tenancy with support with a small number requiring a more intensive supported accommodation provision. The multi-agency approach to this project has been a huge success and the multi-agency Assessment Team worked tirelessly to ensure that all of the 84 vulnerable men had an appropriate support and accommodation plan in place.
Angela continued: “Housing First has achieved safe and secure accommodation for the individual which is now being seen as not just a roof, tenancy, house but a home. It has also helped reduce harmful and risky behaviours and help with the Integration into local communities. A number of men are already engaging in voluntary work with a plan to move into employment and re-establish family relationships and stronger engagement in their own care plan.”
Subject is a male in his forties who has a long history of homelessness and has never had his own tenancy. He has slept rough, sofa surfed and been in several homeless accommodation units hospitals and rehabs. He is excited about getting a tenancy through the Housing First project and has been engaging well with his housing First support workers. He has said to them "this is the first time in a long while I can say I have had a good night’s sleep and had not to worry about anything happening to me."