#HousingFirstScot: Kick-started by Social Bite

Social Bite provided a catalyst and funds that got a cross-city Housing First Pathfinder in Scotland underway. Here they explain why and thank their supporters.

At Social Bite we are working collaboratively to ensure everyone in Scotland has a safe place to call home, we believe this is not only a basic human right, but it is essential in creating a society where everyone has the opportunity to reach their potential.

The investment of £3 million, by Social Bite, into the Housing First Pathfinders project saw a significant progression in a journey which began with Turning Point Scotland who ran a small Housing First pilot project almost ten years ago.

We believe this project signifies the dawning of a new era in how Scotland responds to the systemic issue of homelessness. The project’s wider goal is to act as a catalyst for the adoption of Housing First across all 32 Scottish local authorities, so it becomes the default solution to tackling the systemic issue of homelessness. We aim to cause a structural shift away from the use of unsuitable temporary accommodation that perpetuates repeat homelessness, towards people being housed as quickly as possible in permanent homes with appropriate wraparound support.

The project will help to reduce the significant hidden costs of the current system, with international evidence showing that significant savings can be made to the public purse after an initial set up and transitional period of approximately two years.

We will collect evidence on the outcomes of the programme, particularly linked to tenancy sustainment, positive mental health improvements, and cost savings to local authorities, as well as the cost savings for police, criminal justice and health budgets. In line with this we will be seeking to work with local and national government to ensure that the funding for the support is ultimately mainstreamed.

Luckily, in Scotland we have literally thousands of decent, determined people across every sector working every day (and night) to deliver systems and solutions that make homelessness the rare, brief, urgent exception it ought to be.

This is only possible because of everyone who has joined the movement by buying lunch from our cafes, making donations, signing up to become regular donors and everyone who participated in our Sleep in the Park events in 2017 and 2018.

Thank you!

This article forms part of a special edition of Scottish Housing News dedicated entirely to the Housing First Scotland annual conference next week with contributions from partners making Housing First happen across Scotland. See all articles here.

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