Manchester has strengthened its approach to tackling homelessness but will need to ramp up its work even further to address the challenges of forthcoming welfare and legislative changes.
An update report on the issue to be considered by the Council’s Executive on Wednesday 15 November details how the Council and its partner organisations, through the Manchester Homelessness Partnership, have worked to address the issue.
It also provides details of extra beds being made available during winter and plans for the Council to buy homes to provide more temporary accommodation for people who have lost their homes.
Manchester Homelessness Partnership was set up in 2015, bringing together a wide range of charities and voluntary sector organisations, faith groups, businesses and other public sector services to co-ordinate work to address homelessness in the city.
Their work was given added impetus by an extra investment of £1.5 million through the Council’s City Centre Review to address issues of rough sleeping, homelessness and begging.
This approach, working with people who have themselves experienced homelessness to help shape services, has built trust and established a firm focus on treating people as individuals and working with them to develop tailored support to help them.
This week (w/c 6 November) the Council has been using its social media accounts to highlight the sheer range of work which is going on across the city.
Examples of new initiatives include more integrated support, a debt advice service, The Big Change campaign to back fresh starts, new temporary accommodation and affordable-rent council homes, and additional winter shelter.
Councillor Bernard Priest, deputy leader of Manchester City Council, said: “We all share the ultimate goal of ending homelessness in Manchester. Together with a wide range of partner organisations we have been working hard over the last two years to strengthen the services available.
“An increasingly important element of this is prevention, working with people at risk to help stop them becoming homeless. But where people do lose their homes, and in the most visible cases end up on the streets, it’s about providing structured support which will give them not just a roof over their heads but the confidence to move forwards in their lives so they can have a permanent, sustainable home. This means ensuring co-ordinated ‘wraparound’ advice and support to help them address the issues which contributed to them losing their homes such as poor health, substance misuse and debt.”