A scheme to help Greater Manchester’s rough sleepers has helped more than 700 people to find warm and safe supported accommodation since it was set up in November last year.
A Bed Every Night is a “concerted and coordinated” drive across all 10 local councils that make up the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA), offering to accommodate every individual who “wants and needs” to come indoors.
The combined authority claims that Greater Manchester is the only region in the UK pledging this level of support this winter for those sleeping on the streets.
Since the scheme got underway, 707 people have accessed services with 183 people indoors on the first Sunday night of 2019.
“The fact that more than 700 people have been assisted into A Bed Every Night accommodation in a little over two months shows both the scale of the crisis we face but also the effectiveness of the scheme,” said GM Mayor, Andy Burnham.
“The numbers of people facing or experiencing rough sleeping in our city-region are simply unacceptable – it is a humanitarian crisis on our streets and something we have chosen to face full-on with A Bed Every Night.
“I want to pay particular tribute to all the organisations, staff and volunteers in the teams across all boroughs of our city-region who are working every single day and night to deliver on the ground. Without this level of commitment an ambitious campaign such as A Bed Every Night would simply not succeed – the people of Greater Manchester care for each other, as our progress here demonstrates.”
In addition to the 707 former rough sleepers helped indoors, the scheme is designed to act as a springboard for people into more secure and long-term supported accommodation.
A Bed Every Night is the intended first step for many on a journey to a life permanently off the streets. The combined authority says that since its introduction, 154 people have been assisted through the scheme and into their own living arrangements.
The number of beds available through A Bed Every Night and the variety of support on offer continues to grow. In Crumpsall a former children’s home has been repurposed with 30 spaces available in single and shared rooms.
Residents also have access to shared communal spaces and a kitchen where, alongside staff, they are encouraged to develop cookery skills and help feed others living in the building.
A Bed Every Night runs until the end of March.