Following government instruction to stay at home, Greater Manchester has moved swiftly to agree a £5 million package to accommodate hundreds of homeless people in hotel rooms across the city-region.
This is a recognition of the vulnerability of many rough sleepers and homeless people in shared accommodation spaces, and their need for support and a safe place to stay at this difficult time.
Across Greater Manchester, officials estimate roughly 1,000 individuals will require hotel rooms, including 720 who will have moved out of shared emergency accommodation and an estimated 280 who might be expected to slept rough over the 12 week period initially proposed for the scheme.
A number of former rough sleepers accommodated in hotels will be supplied with mobile phones to enable them to remain in contact with support workers. This also enable those support workers to practice their own essential social distancing. Adult social workers and health workers, will be re-deployed to support individuals in hotels.
Additionally, the Greater Manchester Mayor’s Charity (charity no. 180418) has granted an emergency £100,000 to the city-region’s homelessness charitable sector and launched an urgent appeal calling on big business and individuals to donate funds to support voluntary, community and social enterprises during this COVID-19 crisis.
These donations will be essential in supporting the vital work of the voluntary, public, private and faith sectors, as they work flat-out to safeguard the health and wellbeing of people living without a home across Greater Manchester.
The public can visit gmmayorscharity.co.uk to donate.
The charity is asking businesses for bulk supplies of:
- Food packages – i.e. Dry food such as cereals, microwaveable meals, tea/coffee, sugar, fruits
- Welfare packages – i.e. toothbrush, toothpaste, flannels, shampoo, shower gel, sanitary products, deodorant
- Hygiene packages – i.e. Hand sanitiser, hand wash, soaps, wet wipes, tissues
- Food preparation equipment – i.e. Microwaves, hot plates
- Cutlery and crockery – i.e. knives, forks, bowls, plates, cups and mugs
- Transportation – for delivery of food and welfare packages
- Essential IT equipment – i.e. smartphones, laptops
- Solo activities – i.e. games, consoles, notebooks, pens
Though not possible to receive donations of individual items at this time, if any businesses or organisations are able to donate items in bulk they are encouraged to get in touch via gmmayorscharity.co.uk.