A key part of the Manchester Homelessness Charter mission is to look at gaps between services, and see where this partnership of organisations, business and the public sector can find new solutions.
One of the issues that people experiencing homelessness have raised is that before day centres open, and at the end of the day, there are very few options for people who don’t want to be on the street. You can also see these gaps in the drop in centre timetable on Street Support.
The good news is two new services have recently started, run by voluntary groups who have listened to what people say they need…
Sunday evening service
An evening services action group formed as part of the Homelessness Charter, including people who are homeless alongside staff and volunteers from organisations including Coffee4Craig, Barnabus and shelter. Together they have researched what people need most, and co-designed a new service.
A major blocker to progress has been finding a building that they could use to run the service, but over the last few weeks they have run a successful evening dropin every Sunday 5-7pm at YPSF/CPP, 52 Oldham St offering hot food, hot drinks, showers , advice and support.
Hendrix from Coffee4Craig says “The feedback has been really positive and the fact people can have a shower has made for a lot of smiles. Working with Not Just Soup to provide restaurant food to the guests has also been well received, lots of happy folks :-)”
Friday morning service
In addition, a new morning service has recently started to provide a safe-space for the street homeless who are moved out of shop doorways in the early hours. In addition to providing a safe-space, Morning Hours offers the use of toilet facilities, a basic breakfast of tea/coffee and toast. Morning Hours is open every Friday, 7-9am at St Ann’s church, in St Ann’s Square.
Rev Jude Mitson describes the first Morning Hours service: “We had 18 street homeless guests, two PCSO’s, PC Jon McPhearson, a Chief Inspector and a City Centre paramedic all join us for breakfast, so you could say it was quite an eclectic gathering! We had newspapers out on the table and radio 4 playing in the background – very relaxing.”
St Ann’s have also pledged to re-start an annual commemoration service to remember members of the homeless community who have died and for those who are homeless to remember friends and family members who have died.
Winter Night Shelters
Greater Together Manchester will once again run a night shelter throughout the winter across churches in Manchester. They need lots of volunteers to cover in venues across the city over 6 months from November. Find out more about volunteering at the Winter Night Shelters on their website, or get in touch if you are interested in getting involved.