Spotlight on … Housing First by David Williams

Spotlight on … Housing First by David Williams

Spotlight on … Housing First by David Williams

6th December 2018

Transforming homelessness in Glasgow City

As we get going with Health and Social Care Scotland at our first annual conference on Friday 7 December and accompanied by the launch of our website in which Chief Officers and other health and social care leaders from across Scotland will be taking a turn to provide a blog on a monthly basis, I thought in going first that I would set a theme for the blogs that you will see from us. I want our blogs to demonstrate the courage, creativity and culture in health and social care integration in action in our respective HSCPs. I hope you get something out of reading these.

On 20 November I met with service users John and Derek (names have been changed) separately in their own homes. Part of a round of visits I made that morning which took in my own staff at the Rodney Street Emergency Homeless Hostel, and also the team from the Salvation Army to hear first-hand how the HSCP’s transformation of homelessness services and the rapid upscaling of the Housing First model in the city has actually landed. You can read more about what was actually involved in delivering this transformation by clicking here.

Crucially, John and Derek were able to tell me that whilst it is taking a bit of time to adjust to their respective new settings, they are beginning to feel like it is ‘home’, something neither had experienced for a very long time. They were clear with me that making an adjustment to so-called ordinary living (and these are all my words) was not going to be straightforward for them but they recognised that the opportunity afforded to them by the Housing First model and getting their own home instead was putting them on the right track.

Colleagues from the Salvation Army told me that the truly collaborative partnership working between themselves, GCHSCP, the Wheatley Group, and Social Bite has been the route to success in this transformation along with putting the people we’re here to support first. It’s not rocket science really, but in an environment where we’re too often caught up in focussing on what works for organisations rather than on what works for people as highlighted recently by Audit Scotland, it’s perhaps not surprising that we’re surprised when the obvious, which we should be doing as a matter of routine, actually delivers good results!

Championing the voices of people who use our services, our staff and our communities.

David Williams previously was Chief Officer of Glasgow City Health and Social Care Partnership and Chair of Health and Social Care Scotland’s Chief Officer Group. David is currently Director of Delivery, Health and Social Care Integration, Scottish Government.

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