“Thinking differently will help us give more people a roof over their head” - Cat Taylor

Cat Taylor, ForHousing’s Neighbourhood Services Manager, is working hard to give more people a roof over their heads.

As part of her role, Cat is working on the Greater Manchester Housing First pilot. This is a three-year pilot project that sees several organisations, including ForHousing, working together to provide safe homes for people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless across the region.

After working for her local council in her home city of Leicester, Cat decided she wanted to do more to improve people’s lives and joined ForHousing as a neighbourhood adviser in 2009, whilst also studying at Salford University.

She joined the Neighbourhood Management team in 2013 and took part in the leadership programme, Excellence Academy.

In her latest role, she is attempting to remove the barriers to housing for those who need it.

Homelessness will be a difficult problem to solve, she said, but the Housing First pilot was a big step in the right direction.

“Being part of the GM Housing First pilot has been inspiring and shows what can be achieved when people and organisations work in partnership ,” she said, adding that the organisation has worked with the Social Impact Bond, too.

“Both programmes have changed me as a person, but also helped to change the way ForHousing empowers people and creates new opportunities every day.

“We have worked hard to remove barriers for people to get a house. We have changed the way we work and the staff have been very receptive.”

Flexibility is key, she said, as everyone’s needs are different and housing providers must think differently to work with homeless people find a home.

ForHousing’s approach has included getting to know the Housing First workers, and then introducing themselves to the tenant. This begins a relationship and is the start of a journey to a new life with more possibilities.

“To see people start to get their lives back on track gives me a feeling that I can’t explain,” she said. “Some of the people we have worked with have done incredibly well, and that has a knock-on effect for their family and society.

“The pilot is doing incredible work. It’s a real honour to be part of it, and it’s proving that by changing the way we do things on a bigger scale we can make a difference that benefits the person and society.”