Getting started – partnership, co-production and defining the problem
In Winchester, we have been using the MEAM Approach since November 2018. We became a MEAM Approach area because we wanted to respond to the numbers of people rough sleeping in the city and to make sure that the support that they receive is coordinated and responsive to their needs. We have a strong partnership which is made up of many different representatives, including housing, elected members from the city council, homelessness charities, drug and alcohol services, health services, police and probation services, the DWP and social landlords. We are keen to involve the voice of lived experience in our decisions and to learn from individuals’ experiences to shape the future system.
Designing your intervention
Our operational group meetings once every two months and we discuss challenges and issues for individuals who are part of the MEAM cohort in Winchester. We find flexibilities within the system where we can. We have developed relationships with mental health services over time and have been able to better support individuals in a more timely fashion with the same resource. We work closely with the Community Safety Partnership to look at issues affecting a wider population, which also affect people experiencing multiple disadvantage.
Sustainability and system change
Our strategic group, which provides oversight of the work meets 6-monthly and has a wide range of participants from among the community and has attendance from peer mentors and people with lived experience.
More recently, our response to COVID-19 has involved more in-depth discussion with health partners, public health at Hampshire County Council, and district council housing colleagues across Hampshire. We are considering what new ways of working the COVID-19 crisis allowed us to explore are the ones that we want to embed and also to think about how and where to do that.