It may seem odd but sometimes the best way to help somebody can be to ask them not what is wrong with their situation, but what is going well.
It’s called a ‘strength-based’ approach for supporting those at risk of homelessness, and it’s one of the key principles behind Housing First. By allowing clients to explain what is going right it allows them to articulate their needs more freely and more pragmatically, and it’s been show to have made a real difference, particularly for people with multiple and complex needs, as many rough sleepers are.
At the core of Housing First is the unconditional provision of housing to those who need it. It’s important that this housing comes with no strings attached: homes are provided even if the people being supported choose not to engage further in homeless services. However, over time, a stable home can become the foundation for building positive relationships within the community.
The strength based approach is being developed the whole time. So, when we decided to incorporate a Housing First module into In-Form, we had to be clever about it. We consulted with Housing First customers, university researchers, Housing First project leaders to make sure that In-Form’s Housing First model gives our customers all they need.
The Housing First module is useful for generating reports and securing funding, as you would expect. What makes it different is just how flexible it is to individual customers’ needs. You can select from a comprehensive suite of options to adapt the module to the requirements of your clients. Create a system specific to your needs, pulling from Goal and Achievement tracking, Outcome and Milestone monitoring, logging clients' self-identified safety areas, personalising budget allocation and more. This is particularly powerful since Housing First’s strength-based approach does not depend on a standardised assessment tool.
The other exciting thing is that In-Form is unique in incorporating Housing First into our system. We’re proud to be world leaders in using a strength-based model to assist vulnerable people. And we’re pleased to be able to make the Housing First module available on request to all existing In-Form customers, at no extra charge.
We’re also very keen to get feedback. The system is relatively young, and is being developed the whole time, so the insights we get from customers and their residents can really make a difference about how our Housing First develops in the future.
Please get in touch to find out more about how Housing First can help you and the people you are supporting – and how you can help it develop into the future.