GMHAN Covid Update 23/03/2020

We hope you are all staying physically and mentally well in this difficult time.

Please see below for…

GMHAN Response Collaboration Calls

As a network, we need to urgently collaborate on our response to key gaps that are arising in supporting people, so we are hosting two online calls Tomorrow morning (Tue 23/3) to discuss and agree an approach. We highly value the different knowledge, ideas and perspectives that you can bring, and know the solution will be more effective if we can collaborate, so if it is possible please aim for one person from your organisation to attend.

  • 10.30-11.30 am: What might non face to face support look like?
  • 12-1pm: How might we respond to provide food and other practical items to people who have moved into single occupancy accommodation?

Both calls will be hosted on Zoom: (Meeting ID: 878 996 3299)

If you are unfamiliar with zoom and would like help to be able to join, please contact Dee on or 07507280986. Note that you can join the call by phone if preferred.

GMCA Covid Response

The following is the latest key information from the GMCA concerning the Covid Response as it relates to those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

Access and available support from services including outreach, day centres and community organisations, A Bed Every Night provision, drug and alcohol services, primary care, Greater Manchester Police Street Engagement Team and Probation services is expected to deplete rapidly due to social distancing measures, staff sickness, and redeployment pressures.

The response will focus on three groups:

a. people rough sleeping and in A Bed Every Night accommodation

b. other ‘current homeless groups’ including people in unsupported temporary accommodation and people who are sofa surfing

c. ‘future homeless groups’ including people who will be evicted from asylum accommodation, people discharged from hospital who do not have safe accommodation, and people who will experience domestic abuse and need alternative accommodation.

In the light of Covid-19 and Public Health guidance, the immediate need is to address the accommodation needs of Group A – people rough sleeping and in A Bed Every Night accommodation. As soon as we have it, we will share guidance on the two other at-risk groups.

In line with the Greater Manchester Emergency Covid-19 Committee’s remit to provide visibility of Local Authority actions, escalation of shared issues, and collaboration where needed, the following are the current priorities:

  • Identifying who is at risk

  • Understanding and defining the required essential services for this group

  • Developing guidance on suitable accommodation and support for people rough sleeping and in A Bed Every Night accommodation, for social distancing and self-isolation considering multiple and complex support needs.

  • Developing strategy for meeting immediate needs including; accommodation, food, support, security and support for movement of people where necessary.

Please let us know if you are aware of any non-commissioned shared accommodation spaces that exist in your locality along with, as always, any specific needs for your service, your staff and the people you work with at this time. This information all directly feeds into the Greater Manchester Emergency Covid-19 Committee’s response on homelessness, as well as GMHAN’s requests for funding support and for confirmation of the contribution that we might make to the GM response.

Location Based Information

We are collating key information for the voluntary sector, faith sector, individuals, public and businesses at From there you can view advice pages for each local authority area.

If you have useful information for us to share please email:

You can access some of this information already via the following links – these are currently Manchester focused but looking to build up to include other parts of GM:

Some of the information we have been sent and will include in the advice pages as things change is included below…

Protection for renters

The Government has announced a complete ban on evictions and additional protections for renters. Details of this can be found here:

The provisions are not retrospective and won’t affect ongoing possession claims where proceedings have already been issued. However, the Lord Chief Justice has issued guidance to judges stating that applications to suspend warrants of possession should be prioritised, and that judges dealing with any possession claim during the crisis must have in mind the public health guidance and should not make an order that risks impacting on public health

Advice for key workers

We wanted to bring your attention to the below link which provides the list of key workers whose children will be prioritised for educational provision. Please use this link as we are aware of reports in the national press which are incorrect: We are pleased this includes reference to “charities and workers delivering key frontline services” as well as “occupations… delivering essential public services such as payment of benefits”. It is the view of MHCLG that staff delivering statutory homelessness services (housing options, temporary accommodation etc) as well as staff delivering outreach, supported housing and other key frontline services for homeless people would be included within the definition of key workers. We hope this gives you the assurances you need to make arrangements for the continuation of vital homelessness services in your areas.”

If you have further information, or if there is anything you’d like to know which you aren’t currently receiving, please email:

Thank you for your cooperation, commitment and hard work.

Wishing you well, in solidarity,
Greater Manchester Homelessness Action Network (GMHAN)