Over the next 18 months, we have set a target of moving 830 people out of homelessness and into a proper home with a fully funded support.
A combined total of 800 properties have been offered in Edinburgh by City of Edinburgh Council and a range of housing associations (through EdIndex), in Glasgow and the Central Belt from the Wheatley Group and Dundee City Council (with partner housing associations) have pledged homes over the 18 months of the programme.
The first homes have already become available in the last few months with a total of 46 people now in a permanent home with more people to be housed over the coming months.
‘Housing First’ aims to turn the existing homelessness system on its head. Rather than making extremely vulnerable people, often with complex needs, sleep rough or in hostels or B&Bs, the Housing First system gives people secure home and then puts in a place a support structure to help them sustain their tenancy and re-integrate into society.
Social Bite will invest £3m into funding these support costs with funds distributed to a range of local homelessness service provider charities to deliver the support.
We will collect evidence on the outcomes of the programme, particularly linked to tenancy sustainment, positive mental health improvements, and cost savings to local authorities, as well as the cost savings for police, criminal justice and health budgets. In line with this we will be seeking to work with local and national government to ensure that the funding for the support is ultimately mainstreamed.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “Many people who become homeless or end up sleeping rough have complex needs that require specialist support as well as a house. Traditionally the approach has been to provide support and get a person ‘tenancy ready’ before giving them a house. But that can mean they spend long periods of time in temporary accommodation, making it harder for them to address the other issues they face.
“We want to change that, which is why we are working with Social Bite and others to invest in and expand Housing First to make it a key element of all homelessness services in Scotland. It is our priority to get a person into settled accommodation first, so they can then access support from the security of their own home.
“Now is the time for action, and to end homelessness in Scotland once and for all.”
This is only possible because of everyone who has supported us by making donations, signing up to become regular donors and everyone who participated in our Sleep in the Park events in 2017 and 2018.
If you’re interested in finding out more, we’ve put together some helpful Q&As here.
Below is a short video introduction to the concept:
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