Homelessness in Greater Manchester
Homelessness is on the rise and Greater Manchester has seen some of the biggest increases in recent years.
Rough sleeping in England has increased for the seventh consecutive year and charities continue to report that this steep rise still fails to capture the true level of homelessness.
The official Department for Communities and Local Government figures for people sleeping rough show a 169% increase from 2010 to 2017 across the whole of the country. The biggest regional increase was in the North West (39%), where rough sleeping has almost doubled over the past two years and quadrupled since 2010. Hotspots include Tameside, Salford and Manchester.
These figures only represent the tip of the iceberg. They measure the number of people who sleep rough on any one night, based on counts or estimates carried out by local authorities.
Homelessness is much broader than people sleeping rough though. Anyone who does not have a place to call home can be identified as homeless. This includes people sofa-surfing, staying in hostels, refugees, those with no recourse to public funds and hidden homeless. No national analysis accurately captures the true scale of homelessness but further insight is offered by Homeless Link.
Across Greater Manchester there are many charities, agencies, organisations, groups and individuals working hard to help vulnerable people out of homelessness. The Street Support website is a fantastic resource for finding out about homelessness services in Greater Manchester. It offers a simple gateway to those seeking help and people wanting to offer help.
The Manchester Homelessness Charter has helped to galvanise support and bring lots of organisations and people together in a more coordinated way. Within the Manchester Homelessness Charter there are eight action groups that work to tackle key challenges that people experiencing homelessness regularly face.
The recent impetus by Mayor Andy Burnham and the Greater Manchester Combined Authority has also helped to raise awareness and focus resources to further enhance the work already being done by partners across the city region. The Greater Manchester Homelessness Action Network is a draft strategy to end rough sleeping, and lay the foundations of a 10-year homelessness reduction strategy in Greater Manchester.
Within Tameside, where Emmaus Mossley is based, charities and agencies work together through the Tameside Homelessness Forum to help as many people as possible with the limited resources available. Partners include Change Grow Live, Justlife, New Charter Homes, Pennine Care NHS, Regenda, Tameside MBC and Threshold.
Emmaus Mossley is actively involved in both the Greater Manchester and local authority action groups connected to homelessness. We also link up directly with other charities such as Barnabus, Booth Centre, Cornerstone and Mustard Tree to give people a fresh start, personal support, a home and focus each day. We accept referrals from organisations and also welcome self-referrals from people who are homeless and want to join our community.
If you want to help people affected by homelessness then donating your time, money or goods to local charities, are simple steps that every Manchester citizen can take.
The challenge faced by all of us is to encourage people to engage with the right services, rather than enabling people to remain in their current homeless situation. Once people engage with the right services and grasp the opportunities that are out there, they can develop the resilience and confidence needed to break the negative cycle of homelessness.
Learn more and get involved with Emmaus Mossley to support our work.