A Day in the Life of a York...

A Day in the Life of a York Mental Health Housing First Worker

March 2024

2 Min Read

Changing Lives staff member pictured outside of supported accommodation, wearing a Changinbg Lives rainbow lanyard supporting LGBT+ pride.

York Mental Health Housing First Worker Emily shares what a day in the life of her role looks like.

The aim of the project is to provide those with severe and enduring mental ill-health to live well in the community with intensive support provided to ensure those supported by our team can thrive in independent tenancies. The project was commissioned as part of York’s wider mental health and housing transformation work and funded by our local mental health trust TWEV. The project currently has three full time members of staff who sit within the Making Every Adult Matter (MEAM) team.

I start my day by heading to Carecent in town, which is a breakfast centre regularly used by those we support. It’s open to the homeless or otherwise socially excluded members of the community. I am there looking for a man I support who I haven’t been able to get in contact with for a few days. I have a chat and a coffee with other customers at Carecent and with the Street Navigators whom I ask to give me a call if they encounter him.

I then head to the Job Centre to meet with a man I support who has recently been released from Prison. We’ve been having difficulty restarting his benefits since he’s been released but the appointment was successful, and he is relieved that he will get paid later that same day.

I then walk back to the men’s hostel where our office is based and catch up on some emails and phone calls I’ve missed throughout the morning. I don’t manage to sit down for long before I get a message from a young woman who I support who is at The Women’s Centre. She’s waiting on her Housing First flat being allocated and is apprehensive about managing her tenancy, so we talk through the process and do some budgeting work to ease her anxieties.

I’ve arranged to support someone to her appointment with the Community Mental Health Team, so I walk to the other side of town to meet her at her flat. She is going through a difficult time with her mental health, so I praise her for prioritising this appointment.

I finish my day off doing admin back at the office and ensure that I text and call those I haven’t seen today to remind them of any appointments tomorrow. I’m supporting someone first thing in the morning with their Limited Capability to work assessment, so I prepare for this before heading home for the day.

Learn more about the MEAM project in York here.