Paul Hickford – Team Leader – Homeless Prevention & Housing Options
I’m a Team Leader in the Homelessness Prevention team. In one of the most demanding services in the Council no two days are the same. My team assist residents facing homelessness and work to either prevent their homelessness or find them alternative accommodation. I liaise with internal and external partners on a daily basis, such as meeting prospective landlords, colleagues in other services such as Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust, the police, social services and homelessness charities to mention a few. Since entering my role as Team Leader I have overseen the drafting of a new protocol and working relationship between the Council and Oxleas. I have also been working with Resourcesplus on a project called ‘Independence through employment’. The project encourages residents to get back into work and attend professional training to gain financial independence which with engagement holds potential incentives for those on the Housing register. I am currently working on a large sub regional project which will provide Bexley with a larger pathway in sourcing accommodation for single clients facing homelessness. In addition to my role, I also lead for housing on Children’s Safeguarding, Adult safeguarding, Multi Agency sexual exploitation and modern day slavery & human trafficking.
Bexley is full of fantastic opportunities for personal development and growth – in my two and a half years’ here I’ve progressed from a temporary front line position to a team leader role.