The local authority found that too many of their young people were living temporarily in B&Bs. The initial plan was to work on lowering this number and provide young people with a more suitable form of accommodation.
The council appointed a new ‘Homelessness Prevention Personal Advisor’. This person does not have their own caseload of young people and instead takes on more of a free roaming role, working to advise all care leavers on housing issues.
Their aim is to get involved with at-risk cases early on and focus their efforts on finding more appropriate accommodation for each young person. A key aspect of the job is establishing and maintaining professional relationships with housing providers.
This multi-agency approach means more accommodation options are available and there is variety of choice to suit the needs of each care leaver.
This approach has allowed the council to act proactively – preventing homelessness rather than remedying it after it has become an issue.
Now, young people take a more vocal stance when it comes to housing issues and the council works collaboratively with them to find suitable and sustainable accommodation options.
Each service user is more informed on the housing pathway and who to contact if they have questions or needs. Personal advisors have benefited from having a colleague close by who can provide the relevant information to help with housing issues as they arise.