Greater Manchester has announced an ambitious series of measures and partnerships to save lives as winter draws in.
The ground-breaking proposals have been made possible by strong partnership working between Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA), the 10 councils, public services, business and the third sector.
Hundreds of rough sleepers will have the chance to start a new life off the streets in a £1.8m scheme which is to be agreed between private funders, housing providers, and the public and voluntary sectors.
The newly-established Greater Manchester Homes Partnership will work with ‘entrenched rough sleepers’ – people who have regularly slept rough over the past two years and/or are well known to homelessness services – over a three-year period.
They will be given intensive support to be able to sustain a tenancy in one of 270 homes to be made available by 15 of Greater Manchester’s housing providers and two private rented sector partners. They will also be given the concentrated emotional and practical support they need to access the right kind of targeted health, training and employment services.
Meanwhile, Greater Manchester’s councils have radically changed the way in which the city-region provides emergency support in cold weather. Greater Manchester has now become the first major metropolitan area in the country where emergency help will be available to rough sleepers as soon as the temperature drops below zero. Currently, local councils have a legal requirement to provide enhanced support following three nights of sub-zero temperatures.
John Ryan, who runs Shelter’s Manchester hub, said: “As another cold winter bites and the number of people sleeping on our streets continues to grow, we are delighted to be part of this exciting new partnership to tackle the issue. It’s a fantastic opportunity for us to work collaboratively with others, to reach hundreds of people who are struggling across the city, and we can’t wait to get started.”