GMHAN Covid Update from GMCA 26/03/2020

Please see below an update from Molly Bishop at GMCA following yesterday’s announcements. Further updates to follow from GMHAN…

Yesterday, a Greater Manchester Homelessness Covid-19 Response Strategy was agreed by the Greater Manchester Covid-19 Emergency Committee.

This details our immediate response for Group A, who are deemed to be most at risk. Group A are:

  • Currently rough sleeping, or
  • In shared emergency accommodation where they are not able to maintain safe distancing if it were needed,

The second wave of strategy will address Groups B and C:

  • Group B are other ‘currently homeless groups’, including people in some unsupported temporary accommodation settings, and people who are sofa surfing
  • Group C are ‘future homeless groups’, including people who will be evicted from asylum accommodation, leaving prison, people discharged from hospital who do not have safe accommodation, and people who will experience domestic abuse and need safe, alternative accommodation.

The majority of current accommodation sourced is in Manchester due to hotel density, but accommodation is being sourced across GM.

Strategy Outline

  • Sourcing alternative accommodation at scale
  • Assessment and screening process to identify appropriate alternative accommodation
  • Transport provision
  • Food and welfare packages
  • Essential support covering:
  • Review and access to prescriptions
  • Substance dependency support
  • Safeguarding vigilance
  • Access to primary care
  • Exit strategy

Next Steps

We are working round the clock to mobilise against this strategy. We need you immediate help to address the following:

Food and welfare packages

Can you help source, package, and deliver dry food and essential hygiene items? If so, please send exact details of sources of food and items, packaging locations, and delivery capability to

Supporting ‘Safeguarding Vigilance’ on-site in alternative accommodation

Can you provide DBS checked staff to be re-deployed to work out of Hotel locations and provide generic support to guests? If so, please send exact details of hours per day and staff roles to


We have £5m allocated to this for the next 12 weeks. If you need financial support to contribute we can provide this. The Greater Manchester Mayor`s Charity and Forever Manchester funding campaigns will also support your organisation at this time.


Depending on the above we should be able to mobilise in the next 24hours.

You may have many more questions than answers, but we will keep you involved and informed so that when we know, you know.

I hope to send a full action plan by the end of the day that includes allocations and newly formed teams.

Finally, thank you for your work, your dedication and your readiness to meet an ever evolving situation in the most difficult of circumstances.

Molly Bishop