Homelessness Housing

New homelessness prevention pilot targets vital support to young adults in Greater Manchester

  • Bolton, Manchester and Salford to benefit from work of new Pathfinder programme
  • Greater Manchester Better Outcomes Partnership joins forces with charity Depaul UK and host of local partners in drive to prevent homelessness
  • The success of Pathfinder will be assessed and will inform future approaches to tackling homelessness in the city-region

A brand new homelessness prevention pilot trialling in three Greater Manchester boroughs aims to work with an anticipated 250 young people in 2021 to prevent homelessness and sustain long-term housing arrangements.

The Greater Manchester Young Person’s Homelessness Prevention Pathfinder will work with 18 to 35-year-olds, with a particular emphasis on under-25s, across Bolton, Manchester and Salford. It aims to improve individuals’ confidence and resilience to avoid longer term homelessness, while supporting them to sustain an existing tenancy or move into new accommodation.

The innovative £663,000 pilot will be delivered by newly-formed social enterprise Greater Manchester Better Outcomes Partnership (GMBOP), part of Bridges Outcomes Partnerships (BOP), and a wide range of local partners, including homelessness charity Depaul, Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) and local VCSE and community-based organisations. All will collaborate to deliver expertise and targeted interventions to help young people improve their situations.

Paul Dennett, GMCA Lead for Housing and Homelessness, said: “Tackling homelessness and the causes of homelessness remains an absolute priority for Leaders here in Greater Manchester. As a city-region we have made great progress in recent years, but there remains so much more to do.

“We are committed to addressing the fundamental social inequalities that so often lie behind a person’s experience of homelessness. The Young Person’s Homelessness Prevention Pathfinder is one of many schemes and approaches being undertaken in Greater Manchester. Its successes will help us develop our ambitious Greater Manchester Homelessness Prevention Strategy, due later this year. We are a compassionate city-region – we don’t just walk on by.”

Positive, experienced and enthusiastic coaches from the charity Depaul – which has a major presence both across Greater Manchester and nationwide – will work creatively to achieve targets identified by the young people with whom they work. They will provide a wide range of bespoke support including, but not limited to:

  • Housing assessment and advice
  • Advocacy
  • Mediation to prevent eviction from or abandonment of existing accommodation
  • Income maximisation and debt management related support
  • Referral to substance use and mental health, education, training and employment services
  • If applicable, referral to safe, secure housing

Alexia Murphy from charity Depaul added: “At Depaul we are delighted to be working with GMBOP and local partners to deliver this pilot project of the new Pathfinder programme. We know, from our experience of working with young people in Greater Manchester, of the real life-changing difference that these targeted interventions can have on young people on the brink of homelessness.

“By working with young people at this early stage we can prevent them from falling into homelessness and support them to sustain accommodation into the future.”

Rachel O’Connor, Programme Manager for Greater Manchester Better Outcomes Partnership (GMBOP), added: “We are excited so many organisations will be collaborating on this programme, sharing their expertise and working in partnership towards the same vision of preventing homelessness for young adults across Greater Manchester.

“Pathfinder will allow us flexibility and an opportunity for innovation, meaning we can work together in new ways to identify and overcome the root causes of the barriers young people face’.

For more information visit www.gmbop.org

The impact of the Pathfinder programme will be monitored and its successes will contribute to the formation of new strategies to tackle homelessness across the city-region, including the Greater Manchester Homelessness Prevention Strategy, due later this year. The Prevention Strategy will outline a five-year joined-up vision for Greater Manchester’s approach to tackling homelessness and rough sleeping, including plans to combat the structural issues that create homelessness, and how to go further in reforming public services to prevent homelessness in a much earlier and more sustainable way.

The Greater Manchester Homelessness Prevention Strategy will be co-produced with the Homelessness Action Network and built from the experiences of people who themselves have experienced different forms of homelessness. It recognises that to truly tackle homelessness it is necessary to adopt a preventative and integrated approach, and it will form the basis of Greater Manchester’s next ambitious drive to end the need for rough sleeping across the city-region.

Tackling homelessness remains a key focus of GMCA and the Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham. A Bed Every Night, Greater Manchester’s unique approach to ending the need for rough sleeping in the city-region, currently accommodates around 520 individuals and couples on a nightly basis in emergency accommodation spread across all 10 boroughs. In November 2020 the scheme received a £300,000, 40 bed boost.

Also in November, a total of 115 people were counted as sleeping rough by Greater Manchester’s local authority teams. This contrasts with 151 people recorded in November 2019, 241 in 2018 and 268 the year before. The continuing decrease represents a fall of 57% in just three years.

Article Published: 03/02/2021 17:30 PM