An introduction to Homeless Housing Options with Pedro Cameron
By Robbie McAvenue, Housing Options Scotland volunteer
“Homeless Housing Options” (HHO) is a brand-new programme that Housing Options Scotland is currently busy developing. The project is led by Housing Options Scotland professionals Eve Young and Pedro Cameron who have been working tirelessly this summer to get HHO off the ground.
Pedro Cameron has been working with HOS for the past 5 years in a variety of different roles. This past month, he has taken on the challenging task of developing Homeless Housing Options full-time.
We chatted with Pedro about the new scheme:
Can you give me a quick rundown on what Homeless Housing Options is?
“Homeless Housing Options is a new project which provides advice, information and support to disabled people, older people and military veterans who are homeless or at risk of being homeless, as well as enabling the voices of our clients who have lived experience of homelessness. We have been funded for two years by the Scottish Government’s Third Sector Homelessness Fund to run the project, and we’ll be running it into 2023.”
What are your aims with Homeless Housing Options?
“We want to change the perception of what homelessness is. Many people consider homelessness to mean rough sleeping – however you can be considered homeless under other conditions. For example, if you’ve been served a notice to quit by your landlord, or you are ‘sofa-surfing’.
We’re hoping that the project can convince people to seek help sooner. What we aim to do is offer people support at an earlier stage so that homelessness can be prevented. It’s also important that we make sure our clients’ lived experience influences our ways of working, and that we feedback those experiences to the homelessness sector.”
How will HHO’s services differ from the regular services that Housing Options delivers?
“Homeless Housing Options will follow the usual HOS model – however, when someone comes to us for help, we can offer emergency advice if they require it before they are allocated to one of our Housing Options Brokers.”
How can volunteers become involved with the new project?
“Further down the line, we’ll be able to identify how volunteers can become involved. We hope that our bank of experienced volunteers will be able to do things like attending homeless appointments with clients, or helping them with filling out forms.
There is lots of scope for volunteers to help out, and we will continue to look for new ways our volunteers can help us to help our clients.”
When is Homeless Housing Options being launched?
“We’re still fine tuning the project, but we are here now to offer advice and support! We hope to launch Homeless Housing Options on a wider scale within the next few months.”
If you would like to get into contact with Housing Options Scotland, you can fill out our Get Help form or phone us at 01312471400.