Greater Manchester’s ambitious plan to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping across the city-region, begins on the evening of 1 November with the opening of accommodation in every borough.
And 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.
Called a Bed for the Night,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.”
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