Arch, together with Brighter Futures and VOICES, have launched a new project to help tackle homelessness in Stoke-on-Trent.

The Housing First project will see homeless people given a home as soon as possible, and then build tailored support around that.  With more and more people struggling to survive on our streets, it is hoped this innovative approach will help address this growing issue.

The new service will run for three years initially from around April 2018, with funding coming from the Big Lottery Fund.  Arch will be providing tenancy support for the project and will run alongside existing services, to help support the needs of different people.

Nic Lowry, Head of Operations at Arch said: “Our role is to promote good quality housing, work with supportive landlords and find suitable homes for individuals who would otherwise be homeless.  It’s a great project to be involved in”.

Helena Evans, Chief Executive at Brighter Futures tells us: “It’s so simple when you really think about it, but providing a safe secure home with wrap around intensive 121 support really can be life-changing – we believe the right to a home is the very foundation to help someone on the road to recovery.

“It’s part of a wider spectrum of approaches to help tackle homelessness and supporting some of our society’s most vulnerable members and will complement existing services. Moreover, previous pilots have shown that this approach has a real ability to deliver positive outcomes for people who find themselves homeless. We’re confident this scheme’s results will support its wider roll-out”.

Andy Meakin, Director at VOICES, said: “I first heard about Housing First in 2010 when information began to filter in to the UK of its potential as an approach to tackling single homelessness.

“The reputation of the Housing First approach for effectiveness can be seen in the fact that the model featured in the manifestos of both major parties at the recent General Election.”