Our trailblazing approach to breaking the cycle of homelessness among society’s most vulnerable

Since April 2016, we’ve been piloting a Housing First approach to identifying and supporting people with entrenched homelessness into their own accommodation. That means we secure a place to call home for those on the pilot without placing conditions (such as abstinence) on them first.

Using Housing First principles, people are asked to show only that they want to take up (and maintain) a tenancy agreement. This gives them a base from which to take control of their situation, helping professionals to provide meaningful support with long-term benefits. 

Housing First is different to traditional ways of housing those with multiple or complex needs, which often provide accommodation on the condition that clients commit to change. We know that with a roof over their head, our service users are more likely to keep to a programme of support and recovery – and improve their lives.

Research shows that Housing First schemes help people to maintain a tenancy for a year or more in between 80% to 90% of cases. Meanwhile, traditional approaches have the same impact around 40% of the time.

This approach has already achieved radical results in places such as Denmark, Finland and France, so we’re excited to be working with it here in Manchester.

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