Ambitious plan to provide beds for those sleeping rough in Greater Manchester showing signs of success, new figures reveal...
Andy Burnham’s ambitious drive to tackle rough sleeping in Greater Manchester has put a significant dent in the crisis, new figures have revealed.
Some 172 people were taken off the streets on Monday 19 November through the Mayor of Greater Manchester’s A Bed Every Night scheme.
The figure is a snapshot of what happened on one night in November. But in total, 278 people have been helped off the streets since the start of the campaign on November 1.
Over the next week the amount of provision across Greater Manchester will increase even further.
A Bed Every Night will run over the winter period until the end of March.
Andy said: “It’s early days, but these figures show our efforts are having a significant impact.
“We are talking about more than 270 people who have regularly been sleeping on the streets of Greater Manchester who are now instead getting their heads down in a clean, warm bed in a safe environment.
“One of the best things about Greater Manchester having devolved power is that we are actually able to introduce social policies which provide real and meaningful solutions for those at the sharp end of problems like this. We are talking about the area’s young and most vulnerable, victims of domestic abuse, people who have lost their jobs or been evicted through no fault of their own.
“This shows how everyone in Greater Manchester is coming together to confront huge social problems and find solutions for the greater good of all our society.”
The figures from Monday night were provided by councils from each of the city-region’s 10 boroughs.
A Bed Every Night is just the first step in a sustainable model to ensure that the most entrenched of rough sleepers can be supported every step of the way to help them reintegrate into society.
Andy added: “We are not even a full month into this programme and we can see the positive effects it is having. The rough sleeping issue has captured the imaginations of the public, business and celebrities, such as Vincent Kompany, who has pledged his testimonial earnings towards ‘A Bed Every Night’.
“The generosity of the people of Greater Manchester is overwhelming and as we look to developing the plan over the months and years to come, we are going to need to continue calling on the region’s giving spirit. This is the first time anything like this has ever been attempted and more beds and new provisions continue to come on stream all the time. In fact, we expect to have provision available for every single person sleeping rough by early December.
“The system is in place now and we will continue to build. People are being helped off the streets, out of harms’ way and into safe and secure accommodation. And, most importantly, lives are being saved.”
The number of beds available and the variety of support on offer continues to grow, bolstered by the generous donations of the people and businesses of Greater Manchester, who have so far pledged over £146,000 to the Mayor’s Homelessness Fund.
In particular, from this week there will be a significant escalation in the amount of provision being made available by Manchester City Council from the current 51 beds to 103 by the start of December. In addition, the Council will continue working to increase the level of its provision over coming months.
Councillor Sue Murphy, deputy leader of Manchester City Council, said: "We are continually striving to improve the city's services to help people who are rough sleeping - not just by putting a roof over their head, as important as that is, but crucially also by providing the sort of wraparound support which will enable them to get off the streets and live happy and independent lives. These additional bed spaces will be another contribution towards this goal."
In addition to those habitually sleeping rough who are currently accessing A Bed Every Night support, the latest figures show that a further 136 people have found secure accommodation through the Social Impact Bond (SIB).
And the ground-breaking Housing First pilot, powered by £8 million of Government funding over the next three years, will enable the provision of a further 500 homes for people with complex needs, including those previously sleeping rough. Accommodation is expected to open from February.
Earlier this month, the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) secured charitable status for a new Mayor of Greater Manchester Charity (registration #1180418). Monies raised through both the Fund and the Charity will be directed towards ‘A Bed Every Night’ until the campaign’s end on 31 March.
The Mayor added: “We know we can’t achieve our aims with public money alone. We are working hard to mobilise the contributions of all sectors of Greater Manchester society - public, private, voluntary and faith.
“I am so grateful to all the people who have contributed to the Mayor’s Homelessness Fund, which has so far raised a really impressive £147,530 with 12 awards to organisations including Justlife, Booth Centre and Coffee4Craig. The Fund is now solely dedicated to supporting ‘A Bed Every Night’ until the spring.”
For more information and to donate visit www.bedeverynight.co.uk