Manchester homeless scheme to provide more beds for rough sleepers

1 October 2019, 20:51

The scheme will provide 100 more beds for homeless people in Greater Manchester
The scheme will provide 100 more beds for homeless people in Greater Manchester. Picture: PA
Nick Hardinges

By Nick Hardinges

Manchester's homeless will be provided with 100 more beds for emergency accommodation from Tuesday night onwards.

A Bed Every Night scheme was launched in Greater Manchester last November offering 300 beds and helping 2000 people off the region's streets.

The programme was the first in a UK city to provide every rough sleeper with urgent accommodation and the Greater Manchester Combined Authority confirmed another 100 beds will be made available on Tuesday night.

Andy Burnham, the Mayor of Greater Manchester, heaped praise upon the project, saying: "Since it began, A Bed Every Night has supported more than 2,000 people and 688 have moved from shelters to a fixed address.

"In 2019, no-one should need to spend a night on the street. In Greater Manchester, we're making sure they do not have to."

The launch of the new accommodation came as Office for National Statistics figures revealed the number of deaths of homeless people in England and Wales increased by 22% since 2017.

The 726 deaths saw the largest rise since records began in 2013.

However, the data showed a slight fall in deaths across Greater Manchester despite the city still seeing the third-highest recorded number of deaths.

An estimated 19 homeless people died across the region in 2018.

The Manchester Mayor said: "Today's ONS data on homeless deaths is shocking.

"The numbers are a national disgrace and the Government needs to do more on a national level and indeed more to support our efforts here in Greater Manchester to provide emergency accommodation, which includes the involvement of our NHS."

Last month, Mr Burnham announced A Bed Every Night would receive £6m in funding to help provide more beds, to give homeless people access to professionals, and to strengthen partnerships between different homeless organisations.

All 10 Greater Manchester boroughs will provide the extra accommodation which will include women-only spaces.

There will also be provision for couples, options for people with dogs and support for those with complex needs, such as addictions and mental health issues, in partnership with the NHS.

The bed spaces are provided by a range of organisations, from voluntary, faith and community groups to housing providers.