Housing First training

Why training to Housing First approach?

Training is a central dimension to a Housing First project solid starting. Operators and volunteers involved in the activation of a project are required to revise the style and characteristics of the relationship with homeless people.
Housing First was conceived and implemented as a different approach to the traditional staricajse systems.

The specific training courses allow to deeply explore and understand the reasons for the difference and support the necessary “mind shift” that is required for a renewed declination of their function.

What are the training contents and method?

The basic training allows to acquire the “essential grammar” of the Housing First approach and its functioning starting from the Key Principles. For operators involved in Housing First projects it is essential to acquire a “posture” that allows them to approach in a new, and substantially different, way with respect to the more painful and tiring aspects proposed by guests in the context of the helping relationship.

The eight key principles adopted by Housing First in Italy are:

  1. Housing is a human right
  2. Harm reduction
  3. Choice and control for service users
  4. Active engagement without coercion
  5. Separation of housing and treatment
  6. Person-centred planning
  7. Recovery orientation
  8. Flexible Support for as Long as is Required

The training proposed by fio.PSD combines the necessary learning phases on contents with different facilitation techniques. This makes the participants protagonists (role-playing, case work, work in small groups, etc.) and allow them to have a guided and accompanied experience

What are the objectives of a basic training on the Housing First approach?

At the end of a basic course on the HF approach, the participants:

  • have understood the difference between the Housing First paradigm and that of the traditional “step approach”
  • they know the eight key principles of the Housing First approach
  • have understood and experienced the applicability of the principles in the context of helping relationships with people in a state of serious marginalization
  • include the strategic value of Housing First as an approach with a radical “community” vocation to activate a new look, and a widespread responsibility, within urban contexts towards homeless people

Training as part of a wider learning system: the role of supervision, research and monitoring

Since its inception, Housing First has been characterized by a profound connection with the dimension of research. The studies carried out on the first projects in New York in the 1990s, and those that followed in the United States and in other countries of the world, made it possible to qualify, and accredit the HF approach, as a system based on solid foundations scientific studies and whose results have been verified and compared to evaluate their effectiveness.
This intuition is also assumed and confirmed in the Italian experience characterized in recent years by many research works and publications on Housing First.

Crucial to the development of this activity was the monitoring and evaluation system prepared by the fio.PSD Observatory with the support of the Scientific Committee of the Federation.

Training is therefore part of a dynamic process that starts from experimenting with the model and investigates its functioning and effectiveness through monitoring tools. The operators are trained on the basis of the studies and scientific evidence offered by the research and then supported, with operational supervision interventions, to accompany the practice of the approach in their daily work.

The circularity between training, supervision, monitoring and research makes possible to highlight the strengths of each individual project and therefore critical aspects to re-read them in terms of continuous learning and improvement.