Here’s just a few ways you can help the charities who work tirelessly throughout the year helping people who have nowhere safe to call home. Along the way, you’ll also meet some incredible people…..
Giving advice, helping people find accommodation, supporting people into work, running a variety of activities. (They also provide breakfast and lunch). Donations of warm, new, men’s socks and unused deodorant.
Wood Street Mission
A children’s charity helping children and families living on a low income in Manchester and Salford. They provide practical help to help meet children’s day-to-day needs and improve their life chances. Donations – new toys that parents can choose to wrap and give to their children as Christmas presents.
Big Change MCR
Supports people who are homeless or vulnerably housed to have quick and easy access to the things that individual people need – such as deposits for a flat, furniture, or interview clothes. Please take the time to watch the new video and promote among your networks.
A national charity that provides support for young people who are homeless. In Manchester they run ‘Safe Stop’ – accommodation and support services for 16 – 21 year olds, many of whom have left the care system. Donation – a celebration dinner for 25. A meal out for the young people they support.
Barnabus do regular outreach work, run a drop-in centre, have an advice hub for one-to-one support (the Beacon), have an upcycling project and an allotment. Donation – an old van, or perhaps someone who would provide sponsorship to have their logo on a purchased van.
On The Out
A charity set up by people who have been in prison, to work for people who are leaving prison. They also run drop in centres at Manchester Town Hall to support people who are ‘presenting’ as homeless. Donations – mobile phones. It doesn’t matter how basic they are! They are vital piece in the puzzle when supporting those coming out of prison.
The Mustard Tree runs a community shop and activity programme tackling poverty through creative activities such as art, music, drama and IT/media resources. They help build confidence, recover self-esteem and unleash new potential. Donations – a gift of £5 means you can help them to respond to whatever someone might need, whether that’s a hot meal, clean underwear, some advice and support, or a taxi to get medical care.
Working with people who become homeless after fleeing persecution and war. Many people are asylum seekers or refugees and do not receive any support from the UK government. Volunteers to help run a ‘winter wellbeing’ programme of activities to improve the mental and physical health of their guests and their staff.
Manchester Homelessness Partnership
The Manchester Homelessness Partnership is a network of different organisations who have come together to try and better understand and respond to all forms of homelessness in our city. Donation – SPACE! If you are a business that can ‘host’ the partnership for a few months – please get in touch. (Trustees and treasurers also needed!)
A new jobs board designed specifically for people who are homeless across Greater Manchester (or at risk of becoming homeless), and for businesses who want to help. JOIN US! We would like to hear from any employer who is willing to approach their recruitment a bit more flexibly so that people from different situations have the
same chance of getting a job that they deserve.
Operating Manchester’s only nightly out-of-hours service for people who are homeless. They have contributed significantly to many of the city’s successful initiatives around homelessness. Donations – a much-needed update to their kitchen facilities.
Currently running a variety of projects including a breakfast service and a young person’s centre. Donations – sleeping bags. Tragically some people are left with no other option than to sleep rough. Lifeshare provide sleeping bags if accommodation cannot be found as it is essential that people stay warm.
St John’s Homelessness Initiative
SJHI is a group of businesses involved in the St. John’s Development who have agreed to focus their social value efforts on preventing and alleviating homelessness. SJHI is working with the Inclusive-Jobs portal to get people back into work. Donations – support. If £25k is raised, they would like to employ someone who has been homeless themselves.
Reach Out To The Community
Working on the frontline of homelessness – doing street outreach day and night. They work in the suburbs of Manchester where there are less charities and services compared to the city centre. Donations – toiletries. This could include deodorant, sanitary products, soap, razors, toothbrushes, toothpaste,
shampoo, hairbrushes, wet wipes, etc.
Inspiring Change Manchester
ICM is an 8-year programme that works with and support people who have multiple ‘complex needs’. Digital volunteers are needed to assist people to access computers and make benefit claims online. This can be done an individual or as a team day.
Street Support Network
(That’s us!) Street Support Network exists to help cities work together to end homelessness. Listing all the services available for people who are homeless plus a ‘give-help’ portal which directs the public to give what is needed by the services. Volunteers – app developers. There have been a few barriers around the levels of security needed to list it on Apple Store. Do you know any App developers who could provide their team with guidance?
A Bed Every Night
ABEN is a Greater Manchester scheme providing emergency accommodation for everyone who is street homeless. A number of new shelters have been opened to provide the extra bed space that has been required. Donations – practical items such as toilet rolls and cleaning products so that the funding attached to ABEN can go to more venues and staffing.
Centre Point is a national charity that provides housing and support for young people who are homeless. They run services seven days a week in Manchester and have an out-of-hours helpline. Donations – Gift Cards so that young people can get the things that they need for themselves – and not feel like they have to rely on donations.
Cornerstones is a day centre in Salford for vulnerable and disadvantaged adults. They are one of three similar services that all come under the Caritas umbrella. Donations – waterproofs. Any second hand or new
waterproofs to help people stay warm and dry through the winter months. This could be jackets, trousers or boots.
Greater Together Mcr
Greater Together Manchester aims to provide leadership and support for anti-poverty work across the region. They also run one of Manchester’s emergency shelters each winter which is now part of the ‘A Bed Every Night’ scheme. Donation – lockers. 18-20 decent sized lockers that can be coded (preferably) or secure so that their guests can leave their belongings safely in the shelter.
MASH provides advice and support to women in sex work in Manchester. They also have a sexual health nurse, support around debts or benefits, help report crimes, refer into mental health services, support with homelessness, addictions, domestic violence, offer counselling plus activities to build confidence or develop life-skills. Donations – toiletries. Including sanitary products and ‘gift’ items (e.g. nice sets, perfume etc.)
An arts and social support charity that works creatively to empower disadvantaged and marginalised young men and trans people. Mens Room support homeless young people who sex work in Manchester’s city centre. Donations – bus tickets. Often the most practical thing Mens Room can do for them is give people a bus ticket that enables them to make a vital GP, hospital, support or benefits appointment.
For those who are lucky enough to have people around them, Christmas day is usually time spent with family and friends. Unfortunately, we often see that many people who are homeless didn’t have this ‘social support network’ to begin with or isolated themselves from offers of support because of feelings of shame or guilt.
If you have a friend, family member, neighbour or colleague who you feel may be struggling – maybe think about reaching out to them. It is not your responsibility to have all the answers, but you’d be surprised how much difference a conversation or a cup of tea can make.
Thanks as ever for your continued support.