Housing first effective solution
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Housing First: Effective Solution. What is Housing First?. Significant departure from traditional ‘linear’ models of provision for homeless people with complex needs ‘Housing’ First as opposed to ‘Treatment’ First Platform for Recovery . Essential Elements of the approach:.

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Housing First: Effective Solution

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Housing First: Effective Solution


What is Housing First?

  • Significant departure from traditional ‘linear’ models of provision for homeless people with complex needs

  • ‘Housing’ First as opposed to ‘Treatment’ First

  • Platform for Recovery


Essential Elements of the approach:

Aim: To reduce re-occurring homelessness by supporting individuals with poor mental health or addiction issues

Underlying principles:

  • Independent accommodation in scattered site housing

  • No requirement for housing readiness

  • Harm reduction approach

  • Provision of permanent housing and holistic support

  • Respect for service user choice re: apartment, levels of engagement, location and times of support

  • 24/7 support from multidisciplinary team

  • Targets most vulnerable – those that have difficulty coping with traditional services, resistant to service engagement


  • Self Actualisation

Platform for Recovery:

  • Self Esteem

  • Love/ Belonging

  • Safety/ Security

  • Physiological Needs

Ongoing Recovery


Housing First - Glasgow


Tenancy Sustainment Outcomes:


Tenancy Sustainment Outcomes

No Evictions!

  • 2 x supported to give up tenancy due to prison sentences over 13 weeks

  • 1 x supported to move from tenancy due to harassment in local area


Service User Achievements to date:

  • Supporting individuals who have never engaged with any service

  • 7 service users involved in education and training – including a university course

  • 5 service users regularly attending day services (including community based addiction programmes)

  • 2 service users involved in voluntary work

  • 1 service user gained full time employment since engaging with Housing First


Substance Misuse Outcomes:

Number of individuals now abstinent from their problematic substance of choice


Housing First Europe


Housing First in Europe


Housing First Europe – test sites

  • 5 different test sites and 5 different welfare regimes

  • Relatively high staff- client ratios 1:3-5 to 1:11

  • Mix of congregate housing and scattered housing in Copenhagen, all others used scatter site housing

  • Use of social housing in 3 cities, using allocation rights with priority for homeless people in social housing. (UK and Denmark)

  • Budapest is a special case


Each service reflects the city and culture that it resources:


Housing retention rates in Housing First Europe


Housing First United States of America: In the beginning ----------

  • Impact on Homelessness from Reagan recession 1979/80s

  • Development of warehouse type shelters by Federal and local Governments to increase provision

  • Those with mental health and/or addiction issues lost in the multiple systems

  • Creation of institutionalisation of mental health services in hospitals

  • Reagan cut-backs from 1981 on public housing only response accommodation


Creation of Pathways and Housing First in USA


Pathways - Assertive Community Treatment Team

  • First created in New York

  • Respond to mental health issues but equally support the individual in their tenancy

  • ACT teams are likely to include: psychiatrists, nurse practitioners, outreach nurses, occupational therapists and support workers, employment and education support worker and peer support workers


Canada’s positive response:

  • In USA, Pathways Housing First tackles homelessness for those suffering with mental illness

  • 2008 – Canada invited 5 cities to develop ‘At Home’ (Chez Soi) programmes

  • Visited Calgary and Vancouver and spent time with an ACT team in each city.

  • Sustained funding recently agreed by Canadian government although staff funding moving to funding via health services.


Churchill visits and learning:

  • Visited services in Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver, Minneapolis, Washington/ Philadelphia and New York

  • Application of Pathways model within our services

  • Responses to homelessness in general and not just ‘single’ homelessness - family responses (as per Minneapolis)

  • Housing First support to Veterans

  • Sustained growth of the Recovery Network/ WRAP models


For more information:Contact: Ian Irvine (Operations Manager)T: 0141 427 8200E: [email protected] Hamilton (Development Manager)T: 0141 427 8200 E: [email protected]: www.turningpointscotland.com

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