Our new Homeless Housing Options (HHO) project has come on in leaps and bounds since starting in April this year. HHO Engagement Coordinator Pedro Cameron was delighted to share the various strands that Homeless Housing Options is working on.
The Homeless Housing Options casework service has been busy with 96 referrals since the project began. All 96 received advice and support from dedicated Homeless Housing Options broker Eve, and CEO Moira Bayne. Clients who required emergency support, are always contacted within 48 hours of completing a Get Help form.
A particular success story comes from Alexander, who was supported from 13 years of sofa surfing to a secure tenancy with Veterans Housing Scotland. Pedro was in attendance recently, alongside VHS CEO Kevin Gray for Alexander being handed his keys for his new home.
Alexander’s story can be read here: https://housingoptionsscotland.org.uk/project/alexanders-story/
Intervention and Connection – Webinar
Homeless Housing Options have also been working on a pilot project called “Intervention and Connection” in which they plan to host webinars with local authorities. The webinars will give frontline homeless caseworkers the opportunity to talk about the challenges they face when working with disabled people, older people and military veterans. The HHO team will then work with caseworkers to design solutions rooted in partnership working, particularly with Homeless Housing Options, to resolve and streamline specific issues.
The service has been developed this based on Housing Options Scotland brokers’ personal experience in working with local authorities to deliver housing solutions, as well as some interviews with frontline workers.
Pedro hopes this project “will encourage positive relationships and effective communication streams between ourselves and local authorities”.
The first session is taking place this month with staff from 5 different Local Authorities, and the team hopes to continue this with more of them in the coming months.
Knowledge Exchange Programme
Another thread of work has been a new Knowledge Exchange programme. Offered to frontline advice and advocacy services – the project involves visiting these services either virtually or in person to deliver sessions based around “hidden homelessness”. Led by Engagement Coordinator Pedro Cameron, HHO will be asking staff teams to consider and discuss what homelessness means to them.
“The sessions will offer organisations the tools and knowledge to help them advise and support their clients who are facing homelessness, and will give them the opportunity to teach us about what they are dealing with on a day to day basis.”
Health and Homelessness Research
Homeless Housing Options have just commenced work on a 6 month research project to try to establish discernible links and effects between homelessness and the mental and physical health of those who experience homelessness – with support from SCOTGEM student and volunteer Hilary MacPherson.
Homeless Housing Options clients will be invited to participate in a short interview which asks them to think about how homelessness has impacted on their health, as well as their ability to access healthcare. A report on the findings is planned to be published sometime in 2022.