The Longford Centre in Chorlton has been given the go ahead to be used as a homelessness prevention centre.
Manchester City Council’s planning committee granted permission to transform the former residential care home into a live-in support facility to help people who have recently become homeless.
The 38-bed centre will be available to provide emergency temporary accommodation to prevent people becoming homeless and to provide support services to help them move on to independent accommodation, employment, training and other opportunities to help them move forward in their lives.
The centre will open in January 2018 once the minimal work required to get it ready has been carried out.
The council-run facility and will be one of around 50 different housing and accommodation offers for homeless people in Manchester, with each providing support to different groups of homeless people and meeting different needs.
The centre will be staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week and has been created to help single people and childless couples who are new to homelessness and have low to medium – rather than the highest support needs. It is intended to supplement the range of existing accommodation and support services already available.
It will only be for people who are referred by Council homelessness services and other organisations working with homeless people, it will not be a direct access centre so people cannot just turn up and expect to be accommodated.
“This centre is just one part of our ongoing response to the challenge of homelessness and one of the ways in which we can act quickly to help people when they first fall into difficulty. It will provide people with a safe and secure environment and with access to a range of support services to prevent them from ending up on the streets and help them get back on track and move forward in their lives.
“Preventing people from becoming homeless is is every bit as important as helping people off the streets and we believe this centre will make a real difference to people’s lives.”
Stephanie Moore of Chorlton-based Reach Out to the Community which works with homeless people in south Manchester said: ” If somebody is at risk of becoming homeless their problems are only going to get worse unless they can be nipped in the bud. Prevention is an important part of dealing with this difficult issue and stopping people ending up on a downward spiral. We are totally behind this centre.”