A third of the 60 people in the first phase of Liverpool City Region’s Housing First pilot are now in their first home.

The approach involves providing a home as the first response for people with multiple and complex needs before offering individualised support for issues such as addictions, mental and physical health issues and the effects of trauma and abuse.

Housing First values people as individuals and allows people to make their own choices, some we might take for granted, giving them confidence to tackle their difficulties.  And that has led to many notable firsts for the people we are working with.

So at the end of our first quarter of delivery, and also the first month of the New Year, we thought we’d ask what kind of other firsts had taken place for our Housing First clients.

After 27 years of being street homeless, one lady has just spent her first Christmas in her own tenancy.

“I sometimes have to slap myself in the face because I don’t believe I have my own home. I have to remind myself I am here in my own place….Everyone is saying how decent I am looking.”

A 39 year old man who has been in and out of care, prison and hostels all of his adult life has just moved into his first tenancy.

“I sometimes have to pinch himself now I’m in my own flat. Housing First are the first people who have really helped.”

Another client has had her first ‘sleepover’ with her 15 year old daughter since she was removed into her grandmother’s care. They bought pizzas and watched films. She was able to do this in her own home through Housing First and can now provide a safe and secure place to start having regular contact with her daughter.

“It’s the first time anyone has understood me, no other agency/service has ever understood me like Housing First.”

And after being homeless for 15 years, one client moved to his own first home, near to his family. Without Housing First, he is unlikely to have got a social tenancy in this area due to high demand.

“Thank you for everything you really are a star. I’m not being morbid but I’d be dead without you and your team.”

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