Manchester City Council has announced that it is working alongside key partners to ensure that people sleeping rough in the city are supported as the weather gets colder.
The council, alongside Greater Manchester Combined Authority, already provides year-round provision for the homeless, however, efforts are being stepped up as the temperatures drop and nights get longer. These efforts will see the council’s outreach teams, as well as members of Manchester Homelessness Partnership, out on the streets between midnight and 4am to locate those sleeping rough and encourage them to move indoors and out of the cold.
Accommodation will also be provided at Etrop Grange Hotel, with 74-bed spaces being available and provision to accommodate dogs. This will be complemented by drop-in services from numerous agencies, including Greater Manchester Mental Health Trust and Change Grow Live providing mental health, and drug and alcohol support respectively.
Councillor Joanna Midgeley, Manchester City Council’s Deputy Leader, said:
“It’s important to stress that we are working all year round to help people get off the streets and access support to help them build a future for themselves.
“But we know that during periods of particularly cold weather, some people sleeping rough who might normally be reluctant to accept help are more receptive to it and this is an important opportunity to reach them.
“Learning lessons from previous years, we will be seeking out people where they are bedded down rather than asking them to report to day centres or other provision.
“I’d like to thank all the dedicated people, especially volunteers, in this city working as part of Manchester Homelessness Partnership to tackle homelessness in this city and make this approach possible.
“We are working hard to prevent people becoming homeless in the first place, as well as reducing numbers in temporary accommodation by helping people move on to settled accommodation more quickly but that does not mean that we forget about those comparatively few who find themselves on the streets. Far from it.”
The national benchmark for providing additional cold weather assistance comes when the temperature is predicted to fall to zero degrees or below for three or more nights in a row, however additional support in Manchester will be activated after the temperature is forecast to drop below zero for a single night.
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