Capita’s software services division is helping the City of Liverpool to streamline how it deals with homelessness and demands for short-term accommodation.
The City of Liverpool developed its MainStay project in order to join up services and provide improved access to short-term housing. Central to the project’s success was the need for all housing support providers to work together to share information on available accommodation so that those with the greatest need received shelter quickly.
David Pugh, director of quality and policy, Liverpool YMCA, said, “People in need of accommodation were going from hostel to hostel, being asked 99 per cent of the same questions each time, only to discover often that they were not at the right place for their situation and needed to be referred elsewhere.
“People were also remaining on waiting lists at hostels after they’d found somewhere else to stay, meaning others were pushed further down the list. It was wasting time, money and resources. We wanted to put a stop to multiple assessments and we knew that an IT system that all partnership agencies could access would greatly improve our service.”
Capita’s case management and support solution, Capita Support, is helping MainStay ensure that more vulnerable people can be assessed and receive the exact help they need quickly.
Pugh said, “We knew what we wanted was quite complex, and we found that Capita Support fitted the bill. It offered us a single assessment system so that all accommodation providers and related support teams could add in or access relevant information.”
Keirron Goffe, business development manager, Capita, said, “People looking for support and a place to sleep now have just one standardised assessment, which can be carried out day or night at a greater number of places. Once details are logged, matches for housing providers that can help are suggested and referrals are automatically sent to the best hostel to suit someone’s circumstances.”
When a homeless person is accepted by a housing provider, the system updates their status immediately. This means the turnaround time for those in critical need is much faster, and feedback shows that 100 per cent of providers believe the MainStay system has improved the prioritisation of how vacancies are filled.
Pugh said, “By having all the data in one place, we realised that we were helping around three times more people than we thought. Having data to back this up has been instrumental in postponing some of the cuts we face.”