Although the Dynamic Pathway to Independence is perfect for the majority of rough sleepers, there are a small cohort of people who didn’t fit in with the shared/co-living arrangements. This is where we introduced our Housing First model and we now have 25 units of Housing First here in Watford, working with Watford Community Housing Trust as the landlord of those services.

Within the Housing first model, there are 7 High Fidelity principles which are key to ensure the success of this counterintuitive approach to end rough sleeping. Number one of these is that housing is a basic human right, there is no expectation for people to overcome certain barriers in order to get to the end of the journey and achieve independent accommodation.

The journey in Housing First similarly begins with an outreach phase called ‘Contact and Trust’, which is delivered in line with the dynamic support journey principles using the outcome star and inform systems on a tablet to deliver the right support in the right way at the right time.

Once trust is built sufficiently by the individuals and they are confident to work with us and move into an accommodated setting, using trust and choice, they are moved into their own self-contained accommodation. Support is continued for as long as necessary in order for them to continue maintaining their tenancy, which helps them to continue on their own journey towards independence.

It is essential that this support remains in place and is not removed, especially further down their journey, even if this is very minimal. This is to avoid any risk of regression back to a position of rough sleeping.

The support and accommodation factors of the journey are completely separate. In Housing First, One YMCA are solely here to provide support for the individuals and are not the landlord.

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