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Recommendations from the Advisory Group. Housing, Homelessness and Substance Misuse. Homelessness & Substance Misuse Advisory Group. Where we started The process The recommendations What next?. Why is this an issue?. Health and Homelessness Action Plans…

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Housing, Homelessness and Substance Misuse

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homelessness substance misuse advisory group
Homelessness & Substance Misuse Advisory Group

Where we started

The process

The recommendations

What next?

why is this an issue
Why is this an issue?

Health and Homelessness Action Plans…

One of the most challenging groups to provide services for

Service users often don’t/can’t co-operate

Wellbeing of service users v wellbeing of community

Which service takes the lead?

But - one of the most vulnerable groups


You get to a point (…) there’s no point in trying any more (…) things get so bad that no-one will help you any more and there’s no way they’ll give you a house in that state (…) so you just keep using even more …

the group
The group

Set up winter 2005

Range of voluntary & statutory sector organisations represented

Range of different understandings


To develop and recommend a set of appropriate and adequate integrated approaches for working with substance misusers, i.e. problematic drug and alcohol users, affected by, or vulnerable to, homelessness. This should be based on joint working through integrated services at a local level to promote –

- appropriate accommodation and levels of support

which promote long-term and sustainable


- access to primary care and relevant secondary care


- understanding and means of implementing harm

reduction to prevent damage to self and others

- holistic input to improve well-being and promote


- access to information about other appropriate

services, suitable means of referral to such services and

adequate support when necessary to assist their

engagement with mainstream services

the research
The Research

Agreed to commission research to provide empirical evidence/information re ‘what works’

Centre for Housing Policy, University of York

- Identify and review evidence on service models and

approaches that produce positive outcomes

- Consider how to identify & measure outcomes

Published 2008: ‘Effective Services for Substance Misuse and Homelessness in Scotland: Evidence from an International Review’

key findings
Key Findings

Abstinence based & treatment only models may be less effective in producing positive outcomes

Provision of appropriate housing at an early stage may increase likelihood of positive outcomes

We need to be realistic in terms of what constitutes a positive outcome

response to the research findings
Response to the research findings

3 local seminars across Scotland

Development of ‘Recommendations from the advisory group’

the advisory group recommends that
The Advisory Group recommends that:

A joint strategic response at national level is developed

A joint strategic response at a local level is developed (responsibility sitting with ADP)

National and local government and those planning and commissioning services recognise the importance of investing to save over the long term

the advisory group recommends that1
The Advisory Group recommends that:

A joint operational response at local level is developed

More flexible approaches are developed in rural and island areas

Mainstream services supporting people affected by homelessness or substance misuse routinely consider the impact of substance misuse and homelessness on the ways in which they provide services

the advisory group recommends that2
The Advisory Group recommends that:

Service development and commissioning are based on evidence of good practice

The starting point for service delivery is an individual’s priorities

There is ongoing evaluation of services in this field managed through the ADP planning and monitoring processes

the advisory group recommends that3
The Advisory Group recommends that:

Targeted service user participation and involvement is supported

Training across homelessness, housing, alcohol and drug fields is supported in statutory and commissioned services

The stigmatisation of these populations is addressed at a local and national level

what next
What next?

Event today and discussions this afternoon

Outcomes Approach

ADPs to take forward agenda supported by national support co-ordinators & outcomes toolkit

Role of advisory group in monitoring

Down to all of us to make this real!