A Bed Every Night – December Update

A Bed Every Night is now in its 7th week, and with support from a huge variety of partners and individuals, 543 people have been accommodated, and 138 moved into more secure accommodation.

The number of people the scheme can support to move inside is dependent on the amount of money raised, so please give what you can at bedeverynight.co.uk.

John Organ from Inspiring Change Manchester and part of the Bed Every Night Steering Group shared the following update with us…

“A Bed for Every Night was a simple ethical response to a complicated situation; no one should have to sleep on the winter streets of Greater Manchester when we can provide safe, warm, shelter while something lasting is being found.

It’s complicated because Greater Manchester have to organise the financing of this over the ten boroughs, the boroughs have to work with charity and voluntary organisations to find the buildings, and resources donated by public and business, to support every bed – and all have to collaboratively help each other work through their respective processes. When the places are created we then have to build a space that feels safe to everyone. It has to hold the goals and direction of the person seeking respite at it’s centre while having a picture of the many pathways this can take. And everybody has to feel they have the information they need to do the next right thing.

To keep this going we need to be both proudly encouraged by what’s working brilliantly and clear about what’s been really hard, honest about who’s been harmed. The tension is between maintaining the hopeful enthusiasm needed to keep any work going and wanting to know what isn’t working so we can adapt. We need to communicate both or it all begins to break down as peoples understanding and expectations don’t match their experiences. We have to trust people, everybody who has an stake in this working, can feel some of the values behind what’s developing, that people fully appreciate the complications, and understand what can best be done to help.

There are people who will be left out, we have to want to generate and share this knowledge so they aren’t tomorrow. At present we don’t have the power to fully address the factors that will separate a person from a home, we don’t have the infrastructure in place to house our citizenry fit to need, but with all working well we can at minimum offer a hand into somewhere safe and warm – we can then address the factors creating and sustaining homelessness together.”

How you can help

Homelessness is complex, an ongoing challenge we need to continue to tackle together, not just at Christmas. There is a lot of goodwill and generosity at this time of year, and we hope that you will continue to support us in the new year and in the coming months by donating to fund more provision.

If you are not able to donate money, you can still help by responding to requests for items that are running short, volunteering, and sharing information. Current items needed include teabags, bread (delivered daily), toilet roll, and pyjamas (new).

For updated information on A Bed Every Night provision and to find out how to support someone who is rough sleeping in your area over the festive period, please visit streetsupport.net/gm.

If you have any feedback to offer the Bed Every Night steering group, you can share your experiences through this simple ABEN feedback form.