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|Framework’s mission is to end homelessness and tackle disadvantage: with the public’s help our Building Better Futures campaign will have a transformational impact on the lives of homeless people with the most complex needs.
To achieve this we are adopting the principles of Housing First – a well-tested approach which gives someone their own place to live (their own tenancy) and works with them to build the bespoke package of support, care and treatment that they need to keep it.
So Housing First’s transformational impact depends on the right housing and appropriate support. Here we explain why the right housing is so important, so hard to come by, and why public support is so urgently needed.
The problem with hostels
In most areas where Framework is present there are no services designed to meet the specific needs of single homeless people with multiple and complex needs.
Where services do exist the housing is usually organised as a pathway – from rough sleeping to hostels, through supported housing and into tenancies. This works for some but not all: it is hard to break unhealthy habits while living alongside people who are also challenged by drug and alcohol misuse.
Their own front door
With a safe place to call home, coupled with intensive person-centred support and a close relationship with a dedicated support worker, people who are likely to have spent many years on the streets, have the best chance to sustain accommodation, re-integrate with society and ultimately thrive.
Based on the Housing First approach the aim of Framework’s Building Better Futures campaign is to develop 200 units of good quality, self-contained accommodation over the next five years to support people with the greatest and most complex needs across Lincolnshire, North Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire and Sheffield.
Beyond the end of the line
The compelling reason to develop the good quality accommodation needed for our Housing First programme lies in what the housing charity Shelter describes as “a long-standing housing crisis which has made some homes across the country unaffordable and left hundreds of thousands facing homelessness”.
Shelter’s submission for the 2021 budget continued: “The UK’s housing emergency has been driven by a decades-long failure by successive governments to build enough homes affordable to households on low incomes…There has been such a chronic lack of social housing built that, with sales and demolitions, in 2018/19 we saw a net loss of 17,000 social homes.”
What is needed, according to Everybody In, the proposal by the charity Crisis for ending homelessness in Great Britain, is the building of “100,500 new social homes each year for the next 15 years to meet the needs of homeless people and people on low incomes – including those at risk of homelessness”.
As a result, at the same time as rough sleeping is increasing, even ideal tenants are struggling to find homes. In this scenario, what chance do people with chequered housing histories and rent arrears, records of anti-social behaviour, alcohol and substance misuse and imprisonment have of finding a home of their own? As if those issues themselves were not already enough to contend with!
When mainstream social and private landlords can’t, or won’t, house people due to their support needs and histories that’s when charities such as Framework, supported by concerned members of the public, need to take action to meet the housing needs of people who are beyond the end of the line for housing.
In addition to the substantial human cost of not providing suitable long-term housing, it’s worth remembering the considerable cost that society bears by not doing so in every hospital A&E department, treatment centre, throughout the criminal justice system – police, courts, probation service and prisons, and elsewhere. It’s high time to act.
Your next steps
You can talk to one of our fundraisers about Building Better Futures by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 0115 970 9558 during office hours.