Success for scheme helping the homeless in Glasgow

  • After being piloted in Glasgow a scheme to help the homeless has been deemed a success.

    "Housing First" allocates rented flats to homeless addicts and alcoholics, without insisting they go through rehabilitation first. It aims to give them support to live independently and recover from their addictions, reports the BBC. Out Of Luck...

    The pilot in Glasgow is part of a larger European scheme being carried out across ten countries. This new support model is based on the theory that people are better positioned to recover from addiction if they are given the security of their own home and adequate support.

    The project involved 22 people who were sleeping rough on friends' sofas or living in hostels, with twenty having criminal records.

    "It's very important that we support people in normal housing stock," said Martin Cawley, the chief executive of Turning Point, the social enterprise which co-ordinated the project. People learn to become good neighbours and learn the responsibilities of holding a tenancy."

    Once they have moved into a flat they were given intensive support by a team of six full-time staff, half of whom had experienced addiction themselves.  The staff aimed to "stick with" residents even if they failed to show up for appointments or answer phone calls.

    If residents spent time in prison, hospital or rehabilitation they were still supported to keep their tenancy agreements.

    "Almost 90% sustained their tenancy over three years," said Mr Cawley. "That's fantastic results for people often caught up in cycle of homelessness and very difficult to reach...people who didn't engage very well with services."

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