LiveWest nominated for Golden Key Great Practice Awards

04 January 2019

LiveWest is asking for your votes after being nominated for a prestigious award for its work in tackling homelessness.

Having played a key role in the success of the Housing First pilot project – a scheme aimed at housing homeless people in Bristol – LiveWest has been recognised by the first Golden Key Great Practice Awards.

We have been shortlisted in the ‘Teams / or projects who are doing things differently to improve services for people with complex needs’ category.

The awards are designed to celebrate the good work taking place to provide better support for the most vulnerable people in our communities.

LiveWest Tenancy Team Leader Emma Young said: “We were so pleased when we heard about the nomination.

“We worked really hard to build our relationships with the Housing First team and get to know our customers. Some parts have been a challenge and there has been lots of learning along the way, as well as some great success stories.

“We have learnt that as a housing association we need to be adaptable if we want the project to be a success.”

The Housing First project praised our contribution, referencing how we have embraced the spirit of providing a different approach to tackling long-term homelessness but also setting the benchmark for how it can actually work in practice.

The project commented: “From their genuinely collaborative approach and constant good-natured communication through to their thoughtful allocation decisions and a willingness to flex around many of the processes and timescales around sign up, LiveWest have worked closely with us to support our clients quickly and smoothly into high-quality accommodation.

“Always open and honest around risks they’ve demonstrated considerable experience and resilience and a readiness to look beyond the issues and histories that can often act as barriers to these clients being housed, reflecting a real belief in the core Housing First principle that everyone is entitled to a home.”

Golden Key is a partnership of organisations working with people in Bristol who are experiencing a mix of homelessness, mental health problems, drugs and alcohol dependency, and offending behaviour.

In partnership with housing associations and the city council, Golden Key set up a Housing First pilot in Bristol in Spring 2018.

It has now housed five clients with a further two being housed this month, all of whom have a history of complex needs and long-term homelessness.

Housing First is about giving clients their own flat straight away rather than requiring them to go through a pathway, where they might have to start in a hostel, then move them into shared accommodation and so on.

The awards focus on two other categories – individuals who have gone the extra mile to improve services with complex needs and organisations working together to improve services for people with complex needs.

The winners will be announced and presented with their awards by Deputy Mayor of Bristol, Asher Craig, at a special event on January 23 in central Bristol.

In order to vote, please log on to http://www.goldenkeybristol.org.uk/news/vote-your-system-change-heroes. Voting closes on January 14, so please click on the link and register your vote.