See below for key information and updates from GMHAN including workstream leads, co-designing the next phases of our response, donations distribution process, and news from people working with families, women and people living in B&Bs.
Covid response workstreams
The current situation has called for the homelessness sector to organise in an emerging way to respond to changing priorities. We are hearing that it is not easy for people outside of a particular workstream to know what is happening, to understand how it is organised, or to link in other information, contacts and perspectives. To support this we have put together a ‘live’ document around the current workstreams which has a suggested GMHAN coordinator for each area. We will update this as things change and we are particularly interested in your ideas for any focus areas which may be missing. Please get in contact with the relevant person if you have any questions or other information / contacts to feed in. You can view the GM workstreams document here.
GMHAN co-design space
We are continuing to evolve how we co-design strategy and actions; taking in different perspectives in a way that is also efficient and focused on the people we are trying to support. Listening to feedback from the previous sessions we ran in person and online, we want to continue to offer a place for people from different locations and sectors of GMHAN to reflect and collaborate together. This will take the form of an ‘open space’ agenda where we discuss whatever is most relevant to those who come. We can also host sessions set up for a specific topic as needed. In all sessions we aim to facilitate in a way that everyone’s perspective is taken into account, and that we work together to creatively think about solutions that work for all.
We heard that it would be useful to have more notice about sessions, so the next dates are set below. Please let us know if there are challenges with the time we have chosen and we will see if there is a better slot – feedback on these sessions specifically to email@example.com.
Next co-design session dates…
- Fri 24/4 11-12.30
- Tue 5/5 11-1
- Then fortnightly on Tuesdays at the same time
All sessions will take place on zoom using the following link, unless otherwise communicated…
Update on GMHAN donation distribution
Our donation warehouse is filling up with items and we want to make sure that these are shared fairly between all of our partners. We have pulled together a panel of people who represent different needs of the homelessness response (e.g. hotels/UTA/GM borough) which will meet weekly to collectively decide what items are prioritised for which services. Some items that have been purchased or ‘ring fenced’ for specific people or accommodation will go straight out, and all other items will go to the decision making panel. This will be a transparent process and we are open to feedback and improvements. The first one is on Thursday 16th and an update will follow from that with a chance to feed into the process if you have information or views that you don’t feel are represented. For any questions or suggestions email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Updates and inspiration
We would like to share inspiring news and especially anything you are doing that is working well and others could replicate or learn from across the network. Please send blog links or information through to email@example.com and we will organise and distribute. Here are two bits of good news to get us started…
Shared Health update
Shared Health Foundation is a CIC with the primary aim of reducing the impact poverty has on health, across Greater Manchester. As part of this, Shared Health work with homeless families in temporary accommodation across Greater Manchester, using research to inform our practice providing health support, improving facilities in B&Bs and lobbying for long term change. From next week Shared Health will provide immediate support to homeless families during the Covid-19 lockdown. Specifically the plan is to:
- Provide one hot meal per day for families in B&B/hotel accommodation across GM (around 100 families)
- Provide hygiene packs (hand wash/disinfectant wipes) to families in B&B/hotel accommodation
- Provide cleaning products along with deep clean training to B&B accommodation
- Provide health literacy information (paper and online) re: caring for unwell children and when to use health services
Womens accommodation update
Alternative accommodation in South Manchester is being provided by the GMCA to support Local Authorities to accommodate up to 46 women in the wake of the Covid-19 outbreak. This includes women (and their children) who find themselves without safe accommodation due to their experience of violence and abuse, including domestic violence, sexual violence, female genital mutilation, forced marriage, so-called ‘honour’-based violence, and human trafficking and modern slavery. This provision is being coordinated by Stockport Women’s Center, in association with The Greater Manchester Women’s Support Alliance (GMWSA), Great Places Housing Group and GMCA. A comprehensive support package is available to women in this provision through GMWSA and a range of specialist organisations. The service delivery model is designed to be trauma informed and responsive in order to create a safe and secure environment for each resident. As per other GM alternative accommodation, this has been commissioned for a minimum of 12 weeks. For more information on referrals and allocations please contact your Local Authority Housing Options Team.
Justlife has been working with people who are in Unsupported Temporary Accommodation (UTA) and B&B’s in Manchester and Tameside to distribute much-needed supplies to landlords and their residents (primarily single households). The total number of properties being reached is 11, with a resident population of 135. This number is likely to grow next week with an addition of two more B&Bs in Manchester. They are distributing the following supplies:
- Cleaning Products
- Hygiene Products
- Puzzle Books/Art materials
- Public Health information & Advice
We will keep you posted on how this works and any learning from this.
Thanks for now and best wishes from GMHAN.