Dear GMHAN Member,
We hope you are all well and staying safe. Three things to round the week off this week – a reminder, details and some reading for the GMHAN call next week; a message from Molly Bishop at the GMCA about the ‘Everyone In’ scheme; and a brief update around support for VCSE organisations.
Next week is our quarterly full HAN meeting, when we will be inputting into the Greater Manchester homelessness response to COVID-19. We have scheduled two sessions, on Wednesday 20th May and Thursday 21st May, so please choose the time that works best for you.
Register your place by going to Eventbrite.
Joining us to hear your suggestions and ideas will be Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham and Mayor of Salford Paul Dennett. We have a major opportunity for this crisis to be a turning point in our response to homelessness, and the more voices we can involve in designing it the more likely we will be to achieve that.
Please share this invite with anyone who might want to contribute to the discussion: colleagues, partners, people accessing services and those who have experienced homelessness.
|Time: May 20, 9.00-10.30AM
Meeting ID: 997 1293 3023
|Time: May 21, 2020 3:30-5.00PM
Meeting ID: 959 8095 9159
- Introduction from Greater Manchester Combined Authority (10mins)
- Session 1: What are you seeing? (20mins)
- BREAK (5 mins)
- Session 2: What do you want to see? (40mins)
- 0-2 months [Operational Response]
- 0-12 months [‘Living with COVID’]
- 0-12+ months [‘Building Back Better’]
- Feedback (15mins)
Message from Molly Bishop, Strategic Lead for Homelessness at the GMCA
We have all been working extremely hard to protect people since the crisis began. A big part of that have been trying to fulfil the Government directive to bring ‘Everyone In’ – ensuring people who are rough sleeping or in shared sleeping arrangements are provided with self-contained accommodation that reduces the risk of COVID-19 infection and spreading.
To achieve this, we have moved people from shared and night shelter provision (516 placements) and brought people inside who were rough sleeping (609 placements). People newly homeless without statutory duty have also been accommodated (448 placements). Thank you to everyone who is and continues to support this.
We have been disappointed at the level of funding to support this work. £3.2m nationally for councils, followed up by funding to Greater Manchester councils for a range of areas which included but did not ring-fence homelessness, and were almost entirely superseded by Social Care and PPE costs.
MHCLG have made it clear in the last few weeks that councils should ‘draw a line’ under ‘Everyone In’ and focus on moving people on from the short term accommodation that has been stood up that cannot be sustained, much of it in hotels. Everyone is working to move people on, and ensure support follows people effectively. We know that in the current climate and in the midst of a housing crisis this is an extremely big task. Hotel accommodation was never a long term re-housing solution, but a public health response to COVID-19 infection risks. However, the challenge of stepping down this accommodation without funding support and risks of COVID-19 still ongoing is significant. We need significant funding and policy change to meet this.
We are working to do everything possible to avoid a cliff edge at the end of June that could see a return to rough sleeping for many people. We are also continuing to work to ensure that people who are rough sleeping have accommodation and support available to them. The Next Steps report to the Emergency Committee attached outlines some of the activity targeted at this work.
But we are continuing to ask Government to work with us to make this feasible by enacting welfare policy changes and providing funding at a scale that enables councils to take solid steps forward to safeguard everyone. The headline on the M.E.N article is not an accurate description of the risk, but the content of the article from the attached report is.
Most important now is to stay motivated and work every step of the way to get the best possible outcome. Some days this is harder than others – thank you for all the mutual support and I hope you are getting much needed rest along the way.
Strategic Lead for Homelessness
Government support for VCSE organisations
And finally, chairs of GMCVO, the GM VCSE Leadership Group, the GM BAME Network and GM BAME SE Network and the GM Social Enterprise Network have written to the Chancellor, the Rt. Hon. Rishi Sunak asking for more support for voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) organisations. Please read the letter here, share it with your local MP and ask them to lobby the Chancellor on our behalf.
Three new streams of funding have also been announced which aim to support homelessness organisations responding to Covid, you can find out more at:
See you on the GMHAN Zoom calls.