Monday, January 20, 2020

‘Housing First’ programme lifts 200 homeless people off the streets this Christmas

Government backed programme mirrors similar successful schemes seen across Europe.

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Hundreds of vulnerable people across the country will be spending Christmas off the streets and in their own home this year, thanks to a government funded pilot.

Housing First works by getting rough sleepers into safe and affordable housing where they can get the specialist support they need to rebuild their lives.

To date, pilot schemes in Greater Manchester, Liverpool City Region and the West Midlands have helped 200 people into homes where they have received vital support to recover from complex mental health issues, substance misuse and the physical effects of living on the streets.

Residents also receive support in maintaining the tenancy and finding a permanent home – ensuring they can stay off the streets for good.

The Housing Secretary, Robert Jenrick met one resident, Claire, in her new home in Walsall to hear about her experience.

Housing Secretary Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP, said: “Housing First is making a real difference to rough sleepers this Christmas.

“This programme is based on the simple principle of helping people into safe and secure homes first, and then providing intensive support, including for addiction, physical and mental health.

“It was a privilege to meet Claire at her new home in Walsall, hear her experiences and wish her a happy Christmas in her new home.

“Rough sleeping fell last year for the first time in several years, but there is a lot more to do and the Prime Minister and I have made this a priority of the new government.

“We have invested over £1.2 billion to reduce all forms of homelessness and have set out to end rough sleeping during this Parliament.”

This comes a day after the government confirmed an additional £260 million to support people who are homeless, or at risk of homelessness.

The funding will be shared among 317 councils across England to help families to find a place of their own, whilst also providing the necessary services for people to improve their lives and get back on their feet.

Housing First differs from other rough sleeping outreach support, in that case workers look after a much smaller number of people, allowing them to fully understand and get to grips with their specific needs, offering a much more personal approach.

The flexible support gives people a chance to move into the Housing First scheme and are offered the help to move on again once they are ready.

This scheme is replicating the success seen across Europe, where Housing First projects have been successful at ending homelessness for at least 8 out of 10 people in the scheme.

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