07 September 2020
Golden Key has partnered with Bristol City Council and the Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to launch Change for Good.
In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, rough sleepers were moved off the streets and into temporary hotel accommodation in March. All the agencies and charities involved in homelessness are keen to ensure things don’t return to the way they were before, and Bristol City Council has pledged to do all it can to make sure no-one has to return to the streets.
The partner agencies all recognise that this is an opportunity to develop an innovative plan that works. This means that in addition to providing the right accommodation in the right place, we need to ensure that people receive the many types of support they need to turn their lives around.
The Change for Good project will create a plan for how the system can work better in future creating a model for change and partnership working that can be used to support other vulnerable groups across the city. Right from the outset the project will be guided by the ideas and feedback from people with lived experience.
Golden Key is a partnership between Bristol charities and statutory services brought together to look specifically at these issues. Evidence shows that we need to change the way the system operates to ensure that people who are homeless, including those who are sleeping rough, are supported to move into homes and to succeed in their tenancies. Services must work in partnership to provide support that is flexible and personalised in order to address a person’s complex needs.
Change for Good will put into practice what Golden Key has learned about successful and sustainable system change and partnership working, with equality, diversity and inclusion at the heart of the process.
The project will run alongside the work the council is doing to secure more move on accommodation in the city, supporting people on the next stage of their housing journey.
The One City Move-on Accommodation programme is working to find a significantly increased supply and range of accommodation for those who are experiencing homelessness or at risk of homelessness. This includes working more effectively and proactively with private landlords, developers and registered providers; repurposing and bringing council owned properties back into use; more larger scale leasing or nominations arrangements and an increased use of innovative solutions including modular housing.
Just last week, the council’s Cabinet approved plans to use converted former council offices in south Bristol to provide more settled housing opportunities for people in the city.
Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol, said: “This pandemic has given us a once in a lifetime opportunity to re-think the way we tackle homelessness in our city. We are committed to changing things for the better and recognise that solving homelessness goes beyond housing. If we don’t address people’s health and social care needs at the same time as providing them with accommodation, we are setting them up to fail. The Change for Good project will redefine our approach to homelessness by working together with our partners and providing people with the right support and the right housing at the right time. We have worked closely with the Golden Key since its inception and the strength of this partnership made them the obvious choice to lead on this project”
Currently, a person who is experiencing homelessness tends to interact with a range of services including housing, social care, physical and mental health support and drug rehabilitation. However, the current system is fragmented, with each service operating individually, which means that people with multiple complex needs often fall through the gaps between each service, preventing them from properly addressing their problems.
Golden Key uses the MEAM (Making Every Adult Matter) approach to coordinate services for people with complex needs, and identify where services need to make operational and strategic changes. Building on this learning, Change for Good will bring together multi-agency support partnerships.
John Simpson, Independent Chair of the Golden Key Partnership Board, said: “Our work has demonstrated again and again that to ensure our clients lead fulfilling lives, we need to reach across organisational boundaries and work collaboratively. If we are serious about wanting to solve homelessness, we need to provide person-centred support which addresses all of a person’s needs holistically. We’re delighted to have Bristol City Council and the CCG as key partners in this project as we believe it will give us the momentum we need to make fundamental and long-lasting changes.”
Julia Ross, CEO of the Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group said: ”I am delighted to sponsor the Change for Good project. We know that people’s mental and physical health needs are just as important as their social care and housing needs and that a multi-agency approach provides the best possible outcome for everyone. This project will create a blueprint for how we work with people with multiple disadvantage in the future.”
The Change for Good project will initially run for one year and the delivery will be overseen by Dr Hayley Richards. The project will first focus on those who have been housed in hotels during the Covid-19 pandemic but aims to extend its remit and redefine how organisations work with all those facing multiple complex needs.