I was delighted to be approached by Cymorth Cymru recently to present a workshop on Housing First at their Homelessness Symposium on 7 November 2018.
There has been increasing recognition of the successes of the Housing First model in Wales, and the wider UK, over the last couple of years and Cymorth felt – as do I – that it is important to learn from the experiences of existing Housing First projects when developing new or future projects.
The Wallich has been delivering Housing First in Anglesey for five and a half years now, so it was a great opportunity to share our experiences.
I was pleased to present at the conference alongside Yvonne Connolly, from the Salvation Army, about their relatively new Housing First project. Their service has been piloted in Cardiff over the last 12 months.
Despite big differences between the two areas – geographically, demographically and in the number of homeless people – we had very similar experiences and learning around the importance of client choice, the establishment of a stakeholder panel and the barriers of short-term funding to, what is meant to be, a long-term model of support.
Our session overran slightly due to Yvonne and I being super keen and wanting to cram in as much information and learning as possible, but the workshop was well received. We received lots of positive comments and great questions from across the sector.
I am always happy to share our experiences of delivering a Housing First project because I believe it to be a valuable approach to reducing homelessness in the long-term.
I cannot emphasise enough how important the staff are in making the project the success that it is.
I am super proud of my team in Anglesey, who work hard every day to support the complex needs of individuals with unending enthusiasm and positivity.
Read more about our Housing First project on Anglesey