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Challenging Homelessness. Highland Homeless Trust. Evaluation of the Direct Access Accommodation Service. Dr Paul Monaghan Highland Homeless Trust Ltd. Challenging Homelessness. Highland Homeless Trust. Our Achievement.

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evaluation of the direct access accommodation service

Challenging Homelessness

HighlandHomelessTrust

Evaluation of the Direct Access Accommodation Service

Dr Paul Monaghan

Highland Homeless Trust Ltd.

our achievement

Challenging Homelessness

HighlandHomelessTrust

Our Achievement

Helped an average of 8 individuals each night over a 6 month period to avoid roughsleeping

Provided 1,456 bed spaces

Provided 1,103 hot meals

Average length of stay was 56 nights

Longest stay was 178 nights

Age range 21 – 67 years

our partnership working

Challenging Homelessness

HighlandHomelessTrust

Our Partnership Working

237 Volunteers

Numerous Funders

Presbytery of Inverness and the Inverness Churches Group (27 different churches)

Blythswood Care

Highland Homeless Trust

Highland Council & the Inverness Common Good Fund

Highlander Hostel

6 principles of action

Challenging Homelessness

HighlandHomelessTrust

6 Principles of Action

Never give up on the most vulnerable

Focus on those most in need

Help people off the streets

Be realistic about what can be offered to those capable of helping themselves

Tackle the root causes of rough sleeping

Help people to become active members of the community

(‘Coming in from the Cold’, 1999)

who typically sleeps rough

Challenging Homelessness

HighlandHomelessTrust

Who Typically Sleeps Rough?

75% over 25 years of age

90% male

25% - 33% lived in local authority care

50% alcohol problems

20% drug problems

30% - 50% experiencing a mental health problem

Less than 5% from an ethnic minority background

(‘Coming in from the Cold’ 1999, ‘Roughsleeping Ten Years On’ 2008)

who did we help

Challenging Homelessness

HighlandHomelessTrust

Who Did We Help?

88% (75%) over 25 years of age

85% (90%) male

N/A (25% - 33%) lived in local authority care

44% (50%) alcohol problems

4% (20%) drug problems

19% (30% - 50%) experiencing a mental health problem

75% (>5%) from an ethnic minority background

ethnic background

Challenging Homelessness

HighlandHomelessTrust

Ethnic Background

17 Polish

2 Latvian

1 Canadian

1 Nepalese

6 Scottish or other U.K.

key vulnerable groups

Challenging Homelessness

HighlandHomelessTrust

Key Vulnerable Groups

Those leaving prison

Those leaving hospital

Psychiatric placements

Young people leaving care

(‘More than a Roof’, 2002)

reasons for homelessness

Challenging Homelessness

HighlandHomelessTrust

Reasons for Homelessness

14 Dependency Problems

5 Relationship Breakdown

4 Prison Release

3 Due to Unemployment

1 Eviction

4 Other Reasons

Highlights Multiple Needs often compounded by language and communication problems

previous accommodation

Challenging Homelessness

HighlandHomelessTrust

Previous Accommodation

7 Roughsleeping

5 Own Tenancy (Scottish or other U.K.)

4 Prison

4 Communal Accommodation

4 Family and Friends

2 Bed and Breakfast

1 Other (Scottish or other U.K.)

Highlights Use of Insecure Housing and Recurring Homelessness

period of homelessness

Challenging Homelessness

HighlandHomelessTrust

Period of Homelessness

13 less than 1week (Scottish or other U.K.)

3 1 week to 1 month

1 1 month to 6 months

4 6 months to 1 year

2 1 year to 2 years

2 more than 2 years

2 not known

Highlights Acute Vulnerability of Service Users

number of nights in daa

Challenging Homelessness

HighlandHomelessTrust

Number of Nights in DAA

6 1 night (Scottish or other U.K.)

6 2 - 5 nights

1 11 - 20 nights

1 21 - 40 nights

5 41 - 70 nights

2 71 - 100 nights

2 101 - 150 nights

4 150+ nights

Highlights Chronic Nature of Homelessness for DAA Service Users

what are the needs of those we helped

Challenging Homelessness

HighlandHomelessTrust

What are the needs of those we helped?

Experience of the DAA highlights:

Multiple Needs of DAA Service Users

Patterns of Insecurity and Recurring Homelessness

Acute Vulnerability of DAA Service Users

Chronic Nature of Homelessness among DAA Service Users

Nobody else would have helped these people!

statutory welfare benefits

Challenging Homelessness

HighlandHomelessTrust

Statutory Welfare Benefits

New rights for A8 nationals from 1 May 2011

No right to benefits if A2 national or ‘Person From Abroad’

Workers Registration Scheme terminated

Habitual Residency Test – not defined in law but ‘Right to Reside’ if self-employed, economically active or actively searching and capable for work

If not working, not searching for work, not classed as a permanent resident (resident for 5 years) or not demonstrably exercising their EC Treaty rights as a worker, jobseeker, student etc. individuals are unlikely to qualify for benefit entitlement

statutory welfare benefits16

Challenging Homelessness

HighlandHomelessTrust

Statutory Welfare Benefits

Access provided to Job Seekers Allowance, Housing Benefit, Council Tax Benefit etc. for ‘qualifying individuals’

Changes to Local Housing Allowance – now 30th percentile

Direct payments to tenants

‘Young individuals’ redefined as ‘up to 35 years’

‘Young individuals’ entitled only to shared facilities rate of Local Housing Allowance, in May 2011 this was £65.00 per week, £280.00 per month!

Significant identified lack of affordable accommodation, i.e. single rooms with shared facilities

homelessness policy

Challenging Homelessness

HighlandHomelessTrust

Homelessness Policy

New emphasis on client responsibilities as well as rights that can / will lead to the withdrawal of emergency accommodation and loss of homeless status on behavioural grounds

New processes and obligations to accept reasonable offers of settled housing, i.e. now 1 offer – previously 2 offers

Housing services available to those who meet Habitual Residency Test

No right to access housing services if A2 national or ‘Person From Abroad’

Priority Needs Test must be met to obtain emergency accommodation, e.g. dependent children, pregnancy, under 21 years, old, vulnerable etc.

If not a defined priority, personal responsibility to meet immediate accommodation needs remains

new rights same old problems

Challenging Homelessness

HighlandHomelessTrust

New Rights – Same Old Problems?

For most – not all – of those that used the DAA:

Meeting Habitual Residency Test criteria will likely mean not meeting the Homelessness Policy Priority Needs Test, i.e. fit, able, single, working etc.

If claiming a vulnerability to meet the Homelessness Policy Priority Needs Test, e.g. aged, chronic ill health, mental health problem, likely not to meet the Habitual Residency Test criteria, i.e. unable or unfit for work means not demonstrably exercising their EC Treaty rights as a worker, jobseeker, student etc., and not entitled to statutory welfare benefits

In these cases most service users will remain obliged to meet their own accommodation needs. In the former case they may be in receipt of benefits and able to meet some costs.

the scottish government

Challenging Homelessness

HighlandHomelessTrust

The Scottish Government

Targets for 2012:

No-one need sleep rough

Existing homelessness to be made more visible

Sustainable resettlement programmes for people who become homeless

Fewer people becoming homeless in the first place

The duration of homelessness to be reduced

Focus on preventing homelessness (Sect 11)

Focus on fighting poverty and inequality

continuing outstanding needs

Challenging Homelessness

HighlandHomelessTrust

Continuing Outstanding Needs

Roughsleeping likely to continue among:

A2 nationals and ‘Persons From Abroad’

Those not meeting Habitual Residency Test

Those with No Local Connection

Those unable to find affordable accommodation

Those whose behaviour may exclude them from statutory service provision in the future

resolving homelessness what doesn t work

Challenging Homelessness

HighlandHomelessTrust

Resolving Homelessness - What doesn’t work

Believing that simply putting a roof over someone’s head will solve their homelessness problem

Not recognising that homelessness and roughsleeping are caused by an interplay of economic, housing, family, individual and other problems

Allowing “crisis” roughsleeping to become entrenched

Agencies / organisations operating in isolation

“Solutions” that don’t provide individuals with the learning or the tools they need to tackle their own problems

Giving handouts!

(South Lanarkshire ‘Rough Sleeper Initiative’ 2001, ‘More than a Roof’ 2003, ‘Getting Connected’ 2006, ‘Norwich Reconnection Policy’ 2008)

resolving homelessness what works

Challenging Homelessness

HighlandHomelessTrust

Resolving Homelessness - What Works?

Rapid and comprehensive intervention:

Address immediate short-term accommodation needs

Provide assistance and support to access and sustain longer-term accommodation that is affordable

Enable individuals to re-establish themselves in the area where they are most familiar and have social ties

Inter-agency collaboration or local partnership working

Implementation of Support Pathways and Change Programmes - helping homeless help themselves

Tiered approaches – services appropriate to need

Establish “stepping stones” to enable incremental recovery

(South Lanarkshire ‘Rough Sleeper Initiative’ 2001, ‘More than a Roof’ 2003, ‘Getting Connected’ 2006, ‘Norwich Reconnection Policy’ 2008, ‘Roughsleeping Ten Years On’ 2008)

making a difference

Challenging Homelessness

HighlandHomelessTrust

Making a Difference

There is a need for creative housing “solutions” that avoid treating only the symptoms of roughsleeping

There is a need to recognise that roughsleeping is often the result of a serious problem in the individual’s life

We have to tackle the practical problems people experience if we want to address roughsleeping and resolve homelessness

We should aim to:

Minimise the occurrence of homelessness

Minimise repeat homelessness

Ensure people have the skills, or the necessary support, to maintain a home

making a difference24

Challenging Homelessness

HighlandHomelessTrust

Making a Difference

We can help the minority of very vulnerable people by:

Providing Direct Access Services for those without rights or who have been excluded from mainstream service provision

Working in partnership with local statutory provision to allow re-engagement – “a leg up”

Working to help avoid and resolve points of crises

Working to meet the social, health and learning needs of vulnerable people