Partnerships are key to achieving success
Great Places demonstrates why cross-organisational working is so important.
Partnership and cross-organisational working is so important when it comes to tackling all aspects of homelessness, as Charlie’s story shows us.
When Great Places met Charlie, his primary need was a home. He had a long history of failed tenancies, homelessness and going in and out of custody. His most recent accommodation was in supported housing where he was asked to leave due to anti social behaviour, and he has been homeless ever since.
Charlie was well known to homelessness and drug treatment services but had never engaged fully on a treatment programme. He was having trouble with his mental health, with incidents of verbal aggression and outbursts alongside intermittent willingness and acceptance of help and support.
After experiencing drug abuse and domestic violence in his relationship, Charlie said he felt mentally and physically drained. He was diagnosed with personality disorder and depression, which got worse when he used drugs.
Charlie was allocated a temporary property with a low level tenancy support, which Charlie felt would work best for him. Once he moved into his new property, his homelessness was relieved, and Charlie would finally get a sense of stability and safety.
The Great Places team worked with the Complex Lifestyles Team (Drug and Alcohol) who agreed to see Charlie as an emergency within a few days of them agreeing to attend an appointment to be assessed for treatment.
Unfortunately, while waiting for his property move in date, Charlie was taken into custody and release with no accommodation. The Great Places team were able to find a temporary home for Charlie, but the environment and community made this home unsustainable for him in the long term.
Alongside this, Charlie attended his first drug assessment appointment. During the appointment, Charlie was told he couldn’t see a doctor or access treatment that day, which caused him to become angry and leave the appointment early. This resulted in all the support teams involved agreeing to a more coordinated approach, to ensure that Charlie was successfully engaged, and his expectations were managed.
The partnership between Great places staff and the Drug and Alcohol service has been key to ensuring this client is able to access treatment and for their needs to be understood by people who do not know them and how they present, what their triggers are and how to have a successful interaction with them in a bid to manage the risk of this behaviour rather than exclude them from a service.
The situation for Charlie remains quite precarious and unstable. There is a risk that his behaviour will lead to him being arrested if they continue to use drugs chaotically, not engage with drug treatment and remain in their volatile relationship.