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Fulfilling Lives Newcastle Gateshead presents new way of working at Homeless Link national conference

Fulfilling Lives Newcastle Gateshead are presenting a workshop on an innovative new way of supporting people experiencing homelessness in the UK at Homeless Link’s 2018 annual conference ‘Under One Roof’.

Alex Smith, Operational Lead at Fulfilling Lives Newcastle Gateshead (FLNG) will be presenting a workshop on Critical Time Intervention (CTI) for delegates at the Homeless Link ‘Under One Roof’ conference along with Shane Mycock, a System Change Practitioner at FLNG.

FLNG has recently launched a pilot of CTI to support people with multiple and complex needs who are going through a period of transition. So far, we have enrolled 7 people from our existing caseload of 100 onto the CTI programme.

Over 50 people we have worked with through the FLNG have been in prison, with many people experiencing unstable housing or homelessness on release. Of this cohort, 42% have reoffended or have been recalled to custody, with 87% of people serving short-term sentences of 6 months or less. This pattern is also repeated within housing services and over an 18 month period the people we support have an average of 4 different housing placements, with an average of 2 evictions.

Engagement is a key challenge for both the people we work with and the systems we work within. Due to the complexities of thoughts, emotions and actions it is difficult to meet the requirements of different services to be at a specific place on a specific day and at a specific time and this often leads to transitions being periods of great vulnerability, missed opportunity and almost an inevitability that it is going to fail and people will continue in a cycle of chaos and further transition.

Critical Time Intervention, a model of support that is practised in America, can offer stability and the chance of a more successful transition. Alex Smith took part in the Homeless Link Transatlantic Exchange programme in 2016 to travel to LA and find out more about the support model from an organisation called Brilliant Corners that had been implementing CTI since 2015.
In their latest report, ‘Everybody In: How to end homelessness in Great Britain’, national charity Crisis pinpointed CTI as being critical to ending homelessness in the UK. We are proud to be pioneering this approach in the UK, as one of the first organisations to pilot CTI.

The Fulfilling Lives programme, funded through the Big Lottery Fund, operates 12 pilot areas across England and has an overall aim of improving the lives of the people we work with, change and improve the systems supporting the people we work with and ensuring that we work collaboratively to ensure their voice is heard. Our learning programme is creative and innovative and looking for ways to ensure we meet our broad aims for change; we are keen to learn, to pilot and to evidence our findings.

‘Under One Roof’ brings together support workers and practitioners working with people experiencing homelessness, or at risk of homelessness, to consider what it will take for everyone to be housed and what is needed to prevent and eradicate rough sleeping.

By sharing current best practice and thinking, changes in legislation and policy and giving workers the space to network with other homelessness and housing professionals, the conference will present delegates with advice and guidance to help them to tackle rough sleeping and homelessness locally.

‘Under One Roof’ will cover a wide range of topics that affect accommodation, support and care provision. It will bring together supported housing and homelessness services and will feature different strands, tailored for leaders, managers and frontline workers.

FLNG’s workshop will be held on the morning of Wednesday 4th July 2018 at Homeless Link’s ‘Under One Roof’ annual conference. Find out more about the conference here.