Housing First

Petrus is a proud partner of the Greater Manchester Housing First consortium, a three year project that aims to provide safe, secure homes for more than 300 people who are homeless or are at risk of homelessness in the region.  

Led by Great Places Housing Group, Petrus is the lead organisation in zone B, covering Bolton, Bury and Rochdale. We work alongside NHS Greater Manchester Mental Health, The Bond Board and Early Break.

Since its launch in 2019, Greater Manchester Housing First has rehoused 321 people. Of those, 201 people have been in their home for six months or more. 

Here at Petrus, we have successfully supported people into a safe, secure home and are working with them to help them sustain their tenancy and access any support needed.

We helped Tom...*

Tom had slept rough for 6 years, through soaring temperatures with no shelter to freezing winters with no warmth. By building trust and a meaningful relationship with Tom, he's now moving into his first house. And we’ll be with him every step of the way.

* Name has been changed to protect identity

Find out how we supported Laura* and Joe* through the Housing First consortium.

What is Housing First?

Housing First is an evidence-based approach that uses housing as a platform to enable individuals with multiple and complex needs to begin recovery and move away from homelessness.

Unlike other supported housing models, individuals do not need to prove they are ready for housing and will not need to move through different accommodation services. There are no conditions placed on them, other than a willingness to maintain a tenancy agreement.

There are seven Housing First principles:

  • People have a right to a home
  • Flexible support is provided for as long as it is needed
  • Housing and support are separated
  • Individuals have choice and control
  • An active engagement approach is used
  • The service is based on people's strengths, goals and aspirations
  • A harm-reduction approach is used.

Case study

John* has spent 20 years living a chaotic lifestyle, including substance abuse, mental and physical health issues and numerous prison sentences before achieving total abstinence in 2015.

In 2017, John began volunteering at Petrus. John has gained a vast amount of knowledge and has become an integral part of many co-production services. Due to his lived experiences, John has contributed to help improve Petrus' service delivery efficiency.

John has also presented to Rochdale Council and other organisations regarding the Homeless Reduction Act and has recently secured a fixed-term position with Petrus, where he engages with rough sleepers and beggars in Rochdale.

*John is a fictional name to protect his identity.

For more information about Housing First, visit: www.gmhousingfirst.org.uk

Paddy's story

“There is a better future ahead for you if you dig in”.

Paddy is a part of the co-production team, helping to shape Housing First to better fit the people using the service. He said: “Housing First is innovative and creative. It’s a different approach and a different way of tackling things”.

Paddy believes in the Housing First approach, which puts the service user in control of their recovery journey.

Read Paddy's full story here