Housing First conference


The 2019 Housing First Conference in Edinburgh was by all accounts the largest and most high profile yet, bringing together key players in the homelessness sector from across the UK. Keynote speakers were the Cabinet Secretary, Aileen Campbell MSP, and the founder of the Housing first approach in New York, Sam Tsemberis, who spoke in the morning about the importance of breaking the cycle where the most vulnerable are trapped in a homelessness system with no escape.

This year a cross section of organisations was represented covering health, third sector, local government and housing. People with lived experience of homelessness from Glasgow Homelessness Involvement and Feedback team (Ghift) took an active role hosting the provocative ‘We Dare You’ session, where people were asked to be brave and challenge the status Quo with ideas and aspirations that go beyond the day-to-day.

Launched on the day was the first in series of joint ‘Know How’ publications with the Chartered institute of Housing in Scotland, which enhances collaboration between the homelessness and housing sectors.  CIH director, Callum Chonczuk, launched the report during a speech in the afternoon session where he spoke candidly about experience of homelessness in his family and the impact Housing first will make to those in the greatest need. More information on the ‘Know How’ report is available here.

Our partners for the event were Wheatley Group and it was supported by Turning Point Scotland and Bethany Christian Trust. We would like to thank all of our speakers, sponsors, partners and delegates for making it a great conference and producing meaningful outcomes, and a full conference report will be published over the summer.

The Housing First Pathfinder is going from strength to strength and at end May, 86 people are now in a home of their own. See the monthly tracker here.