Housing First Support Worker

  • Job Reference: 00000622-1
  • Date Posted: 15 July 2021
  • Recruiter: Spitalfields Crypt Trust
  • Website: www.sct.org.uk
  • Location: Poplar & Shoreditch
  • Salary: £22,220 to £26,260
  • Role: Frontline jobs
  • Job type: Permanent
  • Work hours: Full Time

Job Description

Spitalfields Crypt Trust (SCT) is an East London charity providing practical help, support and training to people who have been homeless and suffering from addiction. It runs a homeless drop-in, a Recovery Hub (which includes an abstinence-based residential recovery hostel, an Addictions Counselling Programme, and a Training & Development Programme), supported houses and two social enterprises supporting people in recovery from addictions to put their lives back together. Our integrative approach is based on the ‘Recovery Capital’ methodology and is a whole-person approach, which considers physical, cultural, social, human, and spiritual factors and assets. 

In employment we actively seek to recruit people with a good combination of talent, skills, and potential, promoting equality for all, and welcome applications from a wide range of candidates.  We select all candidates for interview based on their skills, qualifications, experience and commitment to the values and purposes of the organisation. (Sources - Equal Opportunities Policy 2.2 (i) and (v)).  SCT is a growing organisation with opportunities for people with good motivational skills and high levels of initiative. 

About the role 

The Housing First Support Worker provides person-centered and housing-related support, information, and advice to residents of SCT’s Housing First for Recovery service. The Housing First Support Worker acts as the key worker for a small group of Housing First residents. The anticipated ratio is one staff member to six residents, although this may vary through the life of the project. 

Residents of Housing First will be single people who are rough sleeping, homeless or at imminent risk of homelessness; they may present as challenging and are likely to have multiple and complex needs which make finding, securing, and maintaining accommodation extremely difficult. 

Staff will work to engage with residents and potential residents who have a history of disengaging from services, using a variety of techniques and approaches to build and develop a supportive working relationship. Staff will help residents meet their personalised goals, make informed decisions, and achieve a greater level of stability and independence. 

All activity will be underpinned by the following Housing First Principles: 

  1. People have the right to a home
  2. Flexible support is provided for as long as it is needed
  3. Housing and support are separate
  4. People have choice and control over all aspects of their lives
  5. The service is based upon people’s strengths, goals, and aspirations
  6. An active engagement approach is used
  7. A harm reduction approach is used. 

Staff may work alongside peer mentors who, as former users of services, may be able to provide additional advice and support to Housing First residents. 

Staff are expected to be available to support Housing First for Recovery residents during usual working hours (Monday to Friday, 9.00am-5.00pm) although may be required to work outside of the conventional working week on occasion.  

Role and Responsibilities 

  • Work with Housing First residents to help them articulate their goals and aspirations offering personal, therapeutic, and emotional support. The work will be informed by core Housing First principles.
  • Undertake comprehensive needs and risk assessments with each allocated resident.
  • Adopt a Psychologically Informed Environment (PIE) and Trauma Informed Care (TIC) approach to supporting Housing First for Recovery residents, including use of learning from PIE and TIC training and Reflective Practice.
  • Develop and maintain relationships with Housing First residents to enable person-centered support, promoting personal choice and wellbeing. This will be done through regular contact, including visits to residents’ homes and appropriate community settings.
  • Be adaptive and flexible, resilient to challenges and rejections, to support the stability and progression of Housing First residents to achieve personalised outcomes.
  • Liaise with accommodation providers and actively encourage Housing First residents to move into appropriate Housing First accommodation of their choice.
  • Identify barriers to acquiring and maintaining accommodation and provide support, including practical help with furniture, benefits advice, budgeting, neighbour relations and liaising with landlords.
  • Support tenants to register with a GP, dentist, and optician and in addressing any immediate and longer-term physical and mental health concerns.
  • Support tenants in the best use of personalised budgets to purchase items identified as needed (e.g., furniture, appliances, clothes, etc.).
  • Offer advice, guidance, and support on ways in which substance misuse and other harmful activities can be practiced more safely. This includes anticipating and supporting the reduction of harmful challenges while maximising opportunities.
  • Support residents in attending AA/NA and taking first steps to address their substance misuse issues.
  • Be empowered and persistent in advocating for residents to access all services, including reconciliation work with agencies, if required.
  • Develop, maintain and coordinate effective working relationships with external agencies, promoting effective communication for and about residents ensuring the Housing First project is widely known and promoted.
  • With tenants’ agreement, liaise with other agencies to facilitate access to support, including recovery from addiction, offending and criminal justice, health and mental health, domestic abuse, welfare and housing benefits, debit, child and adult protection, employment, training, and volunteering.
  • Identify cases requiring further help (specialist advice, alternative support) referring and supporting engagement as appropriate.
  • Support residents to accessing the suite of additional SCT services run by our Drop-In team such as art, gardening, IT, pre-abstinence, and women’s groups.
  • Support residents to access community resources to develop positive peer networks and meaningful leisure opportunities, including social, recreational, sport, faith, learning and arts.
  • Regularly review people’s support plans to update, record and monitor progress.
  • Promote and encourage peer involvement with the service.
  • Maintain accurate monitoring and evaluation records using InForm, including detailed information on people worked with.
  • Actively participate in achieving targets as set by the Housing First/Drop-in Manager.
  • Contribute to regular reports on the service and its evaluation as required.
  • Strengthen links and relationships with other SCT projects.
  • Occasional lone working with high-risk people.
  • Actively engage with supervision with line manager, including review of training needs.
  • To be responsible and accountable for the delivery of high-quality support.
  • Undertake any other duties consistent with the role. 

Key Outcomes

  1. As a result of being housed and supported, residents lead less chaotic lives.
  2. As a result of improved self-confidence and resilience, residents are empowered to make their own choices in all aspects of their lives.
  3. Residents have improved physical health.
  4. Residents have improved mental health.
  5. Residents have increased networks of support.

 Person Specification 

  • Ability to plan, prioritise and wok under own initiative
  • Excellent organisational skills
  • Understanding of equality and diversity
  • Strong attention to detail and skills in the production of reports
  • Ability to work collaboratively and constructively within a team setting
  • Ability to influence and motivate a diverse range of stakeholders to develop best practice
  • Excellent interpersonal, communication, active listening, and presentation skills, with an ability to relate to a wide range of audiences
  • Ability to multi-task and act under pressure
  • Ability to respond positively and proactively to changes in the internal and external environment
  • Ability to negotiate effectively with key stakeholders
  • Persistence and determination in dealing with challenges
  • Creativity and enthusiasm with a positive and solutions-focused attitude
  • ICT literate and familiar with a range of basic software package
  • Understanding of Housing First principles and philosophy
  • Knowledge of welfare rights and benefits system

Experience

  • Experience of working in housing or homelessness, mental health, addiction services, offending or other related field.
  • Understanding of adults with multiple and complex needs
  • Understanding of how social disadvantage affects service-take up Ability to prioritise and work to deadlines
  • Experience of working within confidentiality and safeguarding frameworks
  • Experience of using InForm

Cultural Indicators

Delivering Results 

  • Supports effective, data-driven decisions.

 Role Model / Leading by Example 

  • Is an inspiring role model for others. 

Continual Improvements

  • Consistently seeks to improve how we do things to achieve and Embraces change and innovation.

 Effective Communication

  • Communicates clearly, effectively and honestly. Listens to others and adapts communication to suit them. 

One Team

  • Works with others as one team, actively collaborating to achieve a shared vision. Building relationships across SCT, sharing information and expertise.

Closing date: 14 August, 2021