Our Housing First scheme wins an award

It helps people who struggle to engage with typical homelessness support

Our Housing First scheme - the first of its kind in Kent - has won a Kent Housing Group Excellence Award.

The scheme is about helping rough sleepers with the most complex mental health needs, who often struggle to engage with typical homelessness services.

Under Housing First, they are moved straight into a home of their own instead of a homeless hostel. This gives them a sense of ownership, empowerment and has been proven to help people who may otherwise become trapped in a cycle of homelessness.

The Housing First approach which is new to Kent but has made a dramatic difference to homelessness in other countries.

We run it in partnership with Maidstone Borough Council and Golding Homes. The collaborative approach led to us jointly winning the Kent Housing Group's Excellence Awards 'Excellent Partnership' category.

'We're really grateful to receive this award," says Porchlight's director of operations Chris Coffey.

"It shows just how much can be done in the fight against homelessness when we work together.

"We'd like to thank the Kent Housing Group judges and our partners at Maidstone Borough Council and Golding Homes. The Housing First scheme wouldn't be possible without this collaborative approach. Together, we've been able help people who would almost certainly still be homeless.

"We would like to expand the scheme into other areas of Kent to ensure that even more people receive the help they need and the second chances they deserve."