Housing, health, and local authority partners welcomed MP and West Yorkshire mayoral candidate Tracy Brabin to see how, by working together, they are changing lives.
Last Thursday (11 March), Brabin visited two transformative projects in Leeds, which show how the connection between housing, health, and social care is bringing about lasting change in West Yorkshire communities.
The socially-distanced afternoon showcased the support that locally forged partnerships can give residents, and explored opportunities for continued collaboration.
In welcoming Brabin, Helen Lennon, chief executive of Connect Housing and chair of the West Yorkshire Housing Partnership, said: “We are all uniquely close to the communities we serve and have known, for a long time, the impact we can have on people’s lives when we bring our individual specialisms together.
“We welcome the opportunity to show all of the mayoral candidates the work we are doing together.”
The first project visited was Engage Leeds, a city-wide housing support service which has been working to prevent homelessness since 2017.
Bringing together four housing and support specialists, Connect Housing, Barca-Leeds, GIPSIL and Riverside, Engage Leeds addresses the many complex issues which can lead to homelessness, such as drug and alcohol dependency, mental ill-health, unemployment, disability, frailty, and dementia.
Supporting deaf people
The second project is at 17/19 Brudenell Road, Leeds, a Connect Housing property which is being adapted into homes for deaf people coming from specialist mental health units.
Working with Leeds City Council, NHS Leeds Clinical Commissioning Group, and the deaf health charity Sign Health, the property is being re-modelled to provide four self-contained flats for deaf people who will benefit from independent living.
Before the visit, Brabin said: “I want West Yorkshire to be somewhere that people want to live and where they can settle.
“I’m looking forward to meeting with Connect Housing, Engage and their partners to see the great work they’re doing to link up housing, health and social care, provide support and deliver real, lasting change for local people.
“This kind of work will be vital as we emerge from the pandemic.”
Helen Lennon added: “We are motivated by a desire to create imaginative and workable policy solutions to benefit people in need.”
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