Greater Manchester launches first night of ground-breaking plan to tackle rough sleeping this winter
A Bed Every Night, Greater Manchester’s ambitious plan to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping, begins on the evening of 1 November with the opening of accommodation in every borough.
- Mayor calls on Greater Manchester public to back A Bed Every Night initiative tackling rough sleeping
- Andy Burnham asks the public to donate to official organisations rather than giving on the street
- Burnham urges other UK cities to deliver a similar level of support for those sleeping rough
The Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, has called on the public to back the campaign with support and donations to help end the need for rough sleeping in the city-region this winter and in the future.
The public can make donations at www.bedeverynight.co.uk, where they can also track the progress of fundraising. Big-hearted citizens are being encouraged to give money to A Bed Every Night, or initiatives like Manchester’s Big Change, rather than giving to individuals on the street.
The public are also being encouraged to download the new Street Support app, available on Apple and Android, or visit www.streetsupport.net/gm, where they can find information about what they can do if they see someone sleeping rough. The site also has information about other ways people can help, from volunteering to donating items.
This winter’s large-scale joined-up approach will see the provision of an initial 260 beds for individuals sleeping rough every night of the forthcoming winter, November to March.
As well as a bed, the aim is to provide access to hot food, a hot shower and specialist support to enable those in accommodation to begin a sustainable journey away from life on the streets and for all provision to be of the highest possible standard.
The Mayor has pledged to end the need for rough sleeping in Greater Manchester by 2020, a full seven years ahead of the national target.
All 10 local authorities across the city-region have pledged support and resources, while the Mayor is appealing to the public to donate money to the Mayor’s Homelessness Fund with every penny directed to back A Bed Every Night over the coming months.
The Mayor said: “The generosity of spirit in Greater Manchester is beyond debate. We are not the type to simply walk on by. But the time has come to channel this goodwill and the work already being done across our city-region behind a single, thought-through and concerted campaign to tackle rough sleeping over the course of this winter.
“Over the next few months we will pull together to help end the need for rough sleeping in Greater Manchester, starting now with the launch of A Bed Every Night. We need public support – please consider donating to the campaign rather than giving on the street. By donating you can be sure your money will go towards work that will really make a difference – your money will not fall into the wrong hands.
“We will seek to provide a place for every person sleeping rough. Huge work is happening across our 10 boroughs, together with our voluntary providers and faith organisations, to deliver A Bed Every Night and make sure there is a range of accommodation available, including safe women-only provision and places that will look after dogs.
“A Bed Every Night is an important next step in our systematic approach to ending rough sleeping in Greater Manchester and giving people a supported journey away from the streets. We have already proved we can do this. Through our existing Social Impact Bond (SIB) we have successfully enabled 130 of our most entrenched rough sleepers to move into their own accommodation. We want to go further, faster this winter.
“I want to see other towns and cities across the North West and further afield emulate our model and redouble efforts nationwide to tackle this crisis. As a society we need to look after people properly. Whatever our challenges as a country, we are rich enough to put a roof over every head every night of the week.”
A Bed Every Night is an escalation of the hard work already under way to address the scourge of homelessness. Authorities estimate roughly 500 people habitually sleep rough in Greater Manchester.
Manchester city centre has long been home to a significant proportion of the city-region’s rough sleeping population, and is at the heart of the A Bed Every Night approach.
Councillor Sue Murphy, Deputy Leader of Manchester City Council, said: “We warmly welcome the backing of the Mayor of Greater Manchester to help fund the A Bed Every Night initiative both here and across city-region.
“Working together, the City Council and partners across Manchester are determined to do all we can to help people who are sleeping rough get off the streets and get the support they need to stay off the streets. The A Bed for Every Night initiative is an important part of this drive, especially as we approach winter. It is something we have committed to deliver in Manchester and we aim to soon have more than 70 extra beds available each and every night until April on top of the range of temporary and emergency accommodation already available.”
The public can support the new drive to tackle rough sleeping in the city-region in four distinct ways:
- Donate to A Bed Every Night by giving to the existing Mayor’s Homelessness Fund – visit www.bedeverynight.co.uk for further information.
- Back the Big Change campaign, a Greater Manchester-based project which directly supports individuals who are homeless to move away from the streets – visit https://streetsupport.net/manchester/bigchangemcr/
- Give to Tackle4MCR, Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany’s personal drive to fundraise for A Bed Every Night – visit www.tackle4mcr.co.uk/
- Download the Street Support app and refer a person sleeping rough to local authorities and other frontline agencies – visit the App Store or Google Play.
A Bed Every Night has been developed with the Greater Manchester Homelessness Action Network as part of an existing and comprehensive approach to tackling the scourge of homelessness and rough sleeping.
Once people sleeping rough have been assisted in the short term agencies will begin working with individuals to help them into existing homelessness projects including the Social Impact Bond (SIB) and Housing First.
The SIB, a £1.8m programme to assist the most entrenched rough sleepers with secure accommodation and ongoing targeted support, launched in December 2017 and so far more than 130 people have found secure accommodation in the city-region.
The success of programmes like the SIB lays the foundations for the forthcoming Housing First programme; the aim is that significant numbers of new places – homes plus an individual package of support – will open in the early months of 2019.
Find out more and donate via www.bedeverynight.co.uk
Article Published: 14/12/2018 14:34 PM