Getting started - partnership, coproduction and defining the problem
Southend’s Complex Needs Panel (CNP) started as a task and finish group in 2014 by the local homeless hostel. Attendance grew rapidly and it evolved into a space to provide wrap-around support for individuals experiencing SMD, and strengthen partnership working. Following this, an Assertive Outreach Team was commissioned and, more recently, the agencies attending the CNP have joined forces to deliver outreach together as a team. This particular outreach team has focused on the high street area and allowed us to respond more efficiently and rapidly to the aid of the street homeless due to the range of accommodation and support services on hand to offer solutions and advice. This year, we are looking more closely at our coproduction model to ensure that people with lived experience have a voice in Southend.
Designing your intervention
To ensure we adopt a client-focused approach, our services try to offer flexible responses in order to minimize the limitations of systems and procedures. One example of this is the targeted trailblazing team in our tenancy sustainment service. They are equipped to offer especially rapid and efficient responses and focus on specific cases where there is an immediate or impending risk of homelessness. The CNP revealed that this client group needed more hostels offering greater flexibility to clients, as well as Psychologically-Informed Environments that allowed trust to build over time; thus leading to the commissioning of the Complex Needs Hostel which is based on a Housing First model and has 9 bedrooms.
Sustainability and system change
We are looking to create sustainability in our approach by creating a rough sleeping strategy as well as robust policies and procedures for our hostel and outreach. This year we are bringing our approach to a strategic level and looking towards integrated commissioning to ensure our mission’s longevity and enhance our collaborative approach.