Scotland is investing in its most vulnerable homeless population and its already paying off. According to the Scottish Government News site, “Homelessness organizations and local authorities will use the funding, which is part of the £50 million Ending Homelessness Together Fund along with a health funding contribution of £1.5 million over the first two years, to develop their transition to a Housing First and rapid rehousing approach. Housing First provides permanent housing as a first, rather than last, response for people with complex needs.”
This major decision was made after recommendations came in from the Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Action Group. The group was established in September 2017 to set out actions to tackle and prevent homelessness. The Group made recommendations for changes to the homelessness system including transition to rapid rehousing and Housing First as well as increased focus on support for people and on homelessness prevention.
If this Housing First effort continues on its road to success, it could be used as a model in other countries across the UK. The Housing First model has been used in the United States and Finland with tremendous success. Most US based granting organizations are now requiring Housing First to be the model used in order to receive funding moving forward.
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