With much of the media emphasis currently focused on people sleeping rough in Greater Manchester and beyond, it’s worth being reminded of the number of (often displaced) families who live in temporary accommodation in the area. Here are the numbers followed by some practical ways to help.
- 2742 children are living in temporary accommodation in Greater Manchester
- Two years is considered an average ‘temporary’ placement.
- The number of homeless families in GM has risen by almost 1000%
The number of homeless families across Greater Manchester currently exceeds 1500, with evidence showing hidden homeless people and hidden households equating to 10 times higher than official statistics.
In the last three years, the number of homeless families in Manchester has risen from approximately 144 to 12501-2 and falls within the top 50 local authorities in England by rate of children who are homeless.
Statistics indicate 1 in 59 children in Manchester are homeless or in temporary accommodation.
As part of the Greater Manchester Homelessness Action Network (GMHAN), we have been working with Shared Health Foundation to understand the issues faced by families who become homeless and are placed out of their area. (To understand more about the issues families face, read this recent article or download the Shared Health report.)
Among the many challenges, there is a shortage of support workers and often long delays for families waiting to be placed with someone who can offer ‘in person’ advice and support. Visits can be intermittent – support workers oftentimes having a large number of families to support at once.
Information, resources and support.
While possible solutions are being looked at a combined authority and local authority level, we are responding at a network / grassroots level with a NEW PROJECT, aimed at providing support to families through
- a mix of places where people can go
- a network of volunteers to offer information and a friendly welcome
- an online resource SPECIFIC TO FAMILIES to guide people where to find services and support locally, including activities for children, grants for school uniforms, after school clubs etc.
This project will likely start in North Manchester as a trial and then expand across Greater Manchester as we learn and improve what is offered.
To do this:
We need to co-design and develop a FAMILY SPECIFIC SECTION on the Street Support website with targeted information and advice, easy ways to find relevant services and resources near to where families are being placed. To do this, we need to resource the design, development and testing of the new features, and we need your help.
How you can help:
Can you or your business donate something towards the cost of developing this project?
If you are a designer, developer, content writer or tester, can you or your company give time to work with us on the new features needed?
Or can you help in some other way?
This initiative will be a combined effort – Street Support, GMHAN Faith Network, Shared Health Foundation, Places of Welcome. We’d love for you to join us – helping families feel less isolated, more supported and more part of a community.
- If you can donate to this project, that would be fantastic. Please visit the JustGiving page here.
- If you or your company can spare us some of your skills and time to develop this project, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Please also share this with anyone in your network who might be able to help.
Thanks for your time and your continued support.