Big Change launched a new campaign today, asking people to ‘give differently’ to support people who are homeless in Manchester.
The poster campaign will be seen publicised citywide on digital screens, to encourage people to donate money to Big Change to pay for practical items to help individuals get off the street, and also give items, time or money to help local organisations.
Big Change makes sure public donations to people who are homeless are used in the most effective way possible to help individuals build a new future. Although giving money to people begging on the street seems supportive, it doesn’t help individuals get away from sleeping rough, or address the complicated range of reasons which made them homeless.
By working in partnership with charities and organisations providing frontline services for homeless people, the Big Change Fund pools together opportunities to make long term positive changes towards ending homelessness.
Since January this year Big Change has disbursed £8,042 to help 52 people.
Here are just 5 examples of how the money has been spent to help those in need, (names have been changed to protect people’s identity):
- Supported by Barnabus, donations from Big Change helped Paul and Kath to stay connected by purchasing mobile phones. Employers had no way of contacting them, so this small purchase has made the difference between unemployment and employment.
- John, a rough sleeper that had inadequate footwear who couldn’t access size 11’s from the usual sources which meant his feet were constantly wet and in poor health. With help from Change4Good he has now got waterproof boots and socks and is now engaging with support.
- In the last month 5 homeless men supported by Cornerstones accessed a shared house. Big Change supplied each person furniture for their own bedroom, plus essentials such as bedding and plates. This furniture is theirs to take with them if they move on – meaning they will have the essentials rather than starting with nothing.
- Due to a grant from Big Change, 18 people have been helped whilst in hospital by Urban Village Medical Practice, who said: “For those individuals whose clothes were cut from them during their admittance to hospital; without the clothes we have been able to provide via the fund, their discharge would’ve likely been delayed, and potentially resulted in them being discharged in hospital pyjamas. Patients are often already very embarrassed about their circumstances; the humiliation of them having to explain to ward staff that the clothes they came in with, were the only ones they had…we’ve managed to avoid this by being able to offer a change of clothing.”
- Big Change was contacted by The Men’s Room about Wayne who has a history of rough sleeping who had obtained accommodation, but was close to returning to the streets due to having no cooking facilities. A grant was given so that a slow cooker and toaster could be purchased, which meant he has not returned to rough sleeping.