What is this intervention?
Housing First offers accommodation to homeless people with multiple and complex needs with minimal obligations or conditions being placed upon the participant. Housing First provides safe and stable housing to all individuals, regardless of criminal background, mental instability, substance abuse, or income.
Housing First programmes share some common principles: (1) the participant is provided housing immediately, with minimal conditions and no obligation to prove they are ready for independent housing; (2) the client makes the decisions around the location of the housing and the services they receive; (3) support and services to aid the individual’s recovery are provided in line with the clients wishes; (4) social integration with the local community and meaningful engagement with positive activities is encouraged.
What is its goal?
The primary goal of Housing First is to provide homeless people with complex needs with access to safe and stable long-term accommodation. Once settled in their home, the aim is that they will engage with support services and treatment, which in turn will lead to recovery, and ultimately improved wellbeing and integration into the wider community.
Homeless people often lead very chaotic lives and have multiple and complex needs. These factors make it difficult for them to engage in treatment and support to recover and move away from homelessness. By providing immediate accommodation with minimal conditions, Housing First provides homeless people with complex needs with the stability to help them engage with services and begin their recovery. Many alternative housing programmes require a commitment to treatment before accommodation can be accessed, which can lead to the homeless person rejecting the offer of support.
Housing First uses a client-centred approach promoting empowerment and participant satisfaction. The individual makes their own choices about where they live and the type of support they wish to receive.