A NEW approach to tackling homelessness in Fife has been hailed a success.
The pilot project ‘Prevention First’ has cut the numbers of homeless Fifers in Glenrothes and Leven, and now it is set to be rolled out.
Work starts in Kirkcaldy later this month, with Dunfermline, Cowdenbeath and north-east Fife following in 2012.
The project involves Fife Council and voluntary sector organisations, and aims to prevent people becoming homeless in the first place.
In Glenrothes, numbers fell by 62 per cent, and in Leven by 35 per cent.
John Mills, housing management and homelessness, explained: “It’s about giving people information and options to avoid becoming homeless.
“By using this new way of working, we’re trying to prevent people from becoming homeless as well as reach the homelessness target set by the Scottish Government that we have to achieve by next year.
“We believe this new approach is delivering the results we’re looking for because the reduction in the number of people who are homeless in the areas where the pilot was started is greater than in areas where it isn’t operating.’’
Help can include offering realistic solutions to housing problems.
In-depth interviews also help to bring out ways of helping people to keep their homes, as well as providing money advice and guidance of the support that is available locally.
Councillor Brian Goodall, chairman of the housing and communities committee, welcomed the success of the pilot project.
He said: added: “I’m delighted that early signs show the drive to focus on prevention of homelessness is getting results.
“Giving people a range of housing options has meant they have an alternative to just going down the homelessness route.