Housing First (HF) is high on the agenda in Wales as being part of the solution to housing people with entrenched rough sleeping lifestyles. Here, we reflect on our flagship Housing First project.
The Wallich was the first organisation to deliver a Housing First service in Wales.
With lessons learned and the development of a system that complements the people we support, we’ve been successfully offering HF on the Isle of Anglesey since 2013.
Organisationally, we are keen to see even more people who have been threatened with homelessness living healthier, more meaningful and happier lives around Wales. We firmly believe we can help them achieve this through the Housing First model.
To support the case for investment in the initiative, we’ve produced a Housing First ‘Year in Review 2018’ report that provides key information demonstrating how effective the service has been to date.
Housing First Anglesey
When our Anglesey HF project began in 2013, we were selected to deliver a 12-month pilot project based on the identified need of supporting 25 people, who were regularly sleeping rough and/or experiencing repeat homelessness on the island.
Over the past five years, 74% of those we’ve supported have successfully secured and maintained
Housing First works on the premise that, rather than expecting a person currently living on the streets to go through several steps to reach independence, they should instead be offered an independent tenancy first with no prerequisites for access and they should receive intensive and assertive support.
Our approach is trauma-informed and follows a therapeutic model of support. This is enhanced by the numerous creative interventions provided by our dedicated participation and progression department such as art therapy classes, heritage-based volunteering, practical qualifications and outdoor activities to name but a few.
Rebecca Evans AM, former Minister for Housing and Regeneration said of our project:
“I am keen to see what lessons can be learned from this inspiring team, and what we can share with other pilot projects as we work with councils to spread best practice and develop Housing First approaches across Wales.”