2 of 13 Right Intervention at the Right Time

“Right now isn’t a good time for me to start my healthy eating plan. Right now I’m trying to get my kids back, so this pizza will do just fine.”

People told us that often, the help available to them wasn’t what they needed at that point in time. Instead of being able to access what they knew would really help, they ended up attending key working sessions that focused on box ticking rather than what was really going on in their lives and what they felt they needed. The interventions were not ‘ real world’.

Having to engage in activities that didn’t reflect their interests, spending months on waiting lists and undertaking tasks and courses to prove that they were ready to move out of the homelessness sector was often further proof of how far they had failed in life.

We took action

We threw out needs and risk assessments and the use of paperwork in front of people and replaced it all with real world, advantaged conversations.

Our focus was on listening and hearing people, then providing what they needed to make whatever difference they wanted to make in their life. Often, this didn’t involve providing a service but was instead providing an opportunity. We gave everyone access to small personal budgets and bonds so they could shape their own markets and drive supply based on what they knew they needed at the times they needed it.

Providing the right opportunity at the right time also meant that the PTS doesn’t just operate 9am to 5pm.

The PTS embeds personalisation through the approach, personal budgets, talent bonds and transition grants that finance the services, activities and opportunities that individuals need, when they need them.

1 of 13 More than Fixing

“What I need isn’t just to come off drugs, quit alcohol and to get a job. I need to feel I’m worth something, then I might want to do those things.”

People told us about the focus of the services they received. They felt that the aim was to find out what the problems were and then set about trying to fix them without understanding that they weren’t ready to give up the things that were helping them cope. Many used drugs, alcohol or self-harming as ways to cope with traumatic experience. Some did so to keep in with their friends, forget about their situation or just get through the night. Without finding more positive things to replace them, they needed something to help them get through.

Often, it is difficult for people to move on positively from a place of shame, feelings of failure or where their experiences aren’t validated by someone significant in their lives.

We took action

We researched further and found that this is common. There was a body of evidence that identified that, by maintaining people in their area of weakness (their needs), minimal impact would be achieved. By harnessing people’s strengths, evidencing their previous successes, exploring what they can do and validating their experiences, people build on their own abilities and move toward more positive, sustainable life changes. Training staff on how people use coping strategies is a key part of this.