I have been very fortunate in the midst of this crisis to lead a team of passionate and innovative human beings, delivering a flexible needs led service to help support and improve the lives of some of the most vulnerable people in Torbay.

During the period of lockdown, we were able to move someone into their forever home who had been experiencing issues with substance abuse, long term repeated homelessness and prison sentences.  It wasn't an easy task with all the restrictions at the time and social distancing regulations.  However, with lots of communication and negotiations between Shekinah's Private Sector Landlord Liaison worker, Graham Lawrence and the creativity of the team we were able to make the move happen.  As a consequence, the person has been able to move away from the area where he had negative social contacts and is currently decorating his home and making plans for the future.

Housing First have also been working with the RSI team at Torbay Council delivering food parcels to their caseload who were placed in temporary accommodation ( picture below).  We have great partnership working links with our colleagues in the alliance.  This has been highlighted during the pandemic, where both of our teams frontline staff are depleted so our solid working relationships are crucial and very much appreciated.

We are just in the process of recruiting more staff and the calibre of applicants has been really impressive.  Having more staff will help to bolster our team which continues to offer a unique, person centred service during a difficult period.

We have had to change the way we do things and it has highlighted how dynamic and flexible we are as a team and an organisation.