In Amsterdam, HVO-Querido-Discus Housing First has taken this approach a step further to create an innovative, adaptive programme that puts clients in complete control of the process, allowing them to make fundamental decisions, including the home’s location and the type of support they receive. Clients also choose their caseworker to create a unique – but voluntary – support programme that evolves with their changing needs. Since April 2006, Discus has successfully housed more than 600 people using this highly tailored approach to social work and since 2017 it became local policy in Amsterdam, having now over 1500 HF clients within HVO-Querido.

Discus believes the success of the programme depends on this crucial relationship with the client. Recruitment focuses on finding people with the right personality and behavioral characteristics, rather than technical or academic skillsets. Caseworkers follow a methodology created by Discus Housing First called ‘It-can-also-be-different’. This encourages a more creative approach to social work to achieve small successes.