Our Housing First project in Bridgend is designed to achieve long term, sustainable housing outcomes for entrenched rough sleepers who face multiple disadvantages and have co-dependent support needs. It focuses on finding permanent housing as quickly as possible and then addressing the issues that have contributed to an individual’s homelessness.
An increasing number of rough sleepers who need our support can be identified as suffering some kind of trauma and as a result have multiple and co-existing support needs who face significant barriers to tenancy sustainment. This creates significant barriers to overcoming the cycle of homelessness and can create further trauma, perpetuating the cycle further. The Housing First approach is guided by the belief that people need basic necessities such as food and a safe place to live first, in order to then start to address other issues.
Rather than follow normal routes of hostels to supported housing to independent accommodation Housing First offers people their own home and then gives them the intensive support needed to maintain their tenancies and move on with their lives away from the streets. The support is bespoke to the individual and designed through a multi-agency network approach that offers choice and control to people to address any other issues in their lives in a more sustainable way. Caer Las’ model focuses on providing open ended and individualised support (in terms of intensity, flexibility and choice).
Caer Las’ Housing First project is based on the principles set out by Housing First Network (Wales) as endorsed by Welsh Government:
People have a right to a home that is affordable, secure, habitable, adequate both physically and culturally, and with availability of services (as per UN International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights).
Flexible support is provided for as long as it is needed.
Housing and support are separated.
The service is targeted at Individual/s who demonstrate a repeat pattern of failing to maintain hostel accommodation and/or, individual/s accessing rough sleeping or accessing EOS (Emergency Overnight Stay) at the point when the referral is made.
Individuals have choice and control.
A harm reduction approach is used.
The service is delivered in a psychologically-informed, trauma-informed, gender-informed (if the service is delivering to women) way that is sensitive and aware of protected characteristics.
An active engagement approach is used.
The service is based on people’s strengths, goals and aspirations, and as such has an explicit commitment to a small caseload.
The widest range of services are involved from the outset (health, substance misuse, mental health, police).