GMHAN Updates 06/04/20

Hello everyone,

We are amazed how much work and collaboration has happened in the last few weeks – we’ve seen the benefits of our existing partnerships and relationships across Greater Manchester and are thankful to everyone who has contributed. As new services and processes are establishing, it seems a good time to check back in with the wider network to gain your input and ideas on upcoming decisions, and to hear wider feedback on the homelessness sector response to Covid19 so far.

GMHAN collaboration calls

We are offering two further GMHAN collaboration calls on zoom this week to address key issues and decisions arising…

  • Tue 2-3pm Co-designing a fair and efficient process for distributing donations across hotels and organisations  
  • Thu 3-4pm Open space format to raise any issues, gather feedback into GMCA, and collaborate on solutions :

We would like input from different perspectives and areas, to ensure processes and decisions made work for all, so we hope that you or someone from your organisation can make it along. If you have feedback or questions about the calls, please email

Staff needed

Experienced Support Workers and Team Leaders are still urgently needed to staff the emergency hotel provision, so if you have teams whose workload has been reduced or bank staff who might have to be furloughed, please contact Robbie for more information:

GMHAN contact points

As we transition from an emergency response to a longer-term new form of ‘business as usual’, we want to bring more clarity to ‘who is doing what?’. We have organised the GMHAN coordination into seven main focuses which align to the wider Greater Manchester strategic areas. Please see below for a contact point for each of these topics.

This is non-hierarchical and we hope it will give greater visibility of an emerging partnership system for responding to homelessness during the covid crisis. We will also complete a more detailed staffing document which fully reflects the complexity of our joint response. For now, if you have any feedback or questions that you would like to raise with the GMHAN, please contact the most relevant person from this list in the first instance:

  • Dee Lowry: Coordination of needs & offers
  • Lily Axworthy/Jez Green: Food provision & accommodation 
  • Beth Knowles: Group B planning and strategic
  • Ian Rutherford: Strategic, Mayor Charity, and accommodation
  • Robbie Cowbury: Workforce redeployment
  • Viv Slack: Communications 
  • Rachel Brennan: Health

‘Group B’ planning

The Greater Manchester strategy looks at the covid19 response needs of four different groups (below). So far, the majority of new provisions have focused on people who are rough sleeping or in shared emergency accommodation (Group A). We have begun planning for how to extend this support to the other groups, and Justlife and Shared Health have started mapping needs across GM for single people and homeless families in B&Bs and UTA. If you are working with people in this situation or if any local authorities would like any support in this area, please get in touch via:

  • Group A are people who are currently rough sleeping, or in shared emergency accommodation where they are not able to maintain safe distancing if it were needed.
  • 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.
  • There will also be work to consider longer term strategy; impact, needs, and move on. 

Other useful information

In case you have not already seen it, the following documentation has been created from partners in the homelessness sector which may be of interest:

  1. Crisis guidance and toolkit
  2. Homeless Link webinars and advice 
  3. Housing First update
  4. CGL update and advice

Thank you

We hope to speak to some of you on the calls tomorrow & Thursday, and for all other enquiries or feedback please use: