Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) have launched ‘A Bed Every Night’ campaign, with hopes of providing shelter for an estimated 500 people in Greater Manchester who frequently sleep rough.
Suggested figures have shown that plans have been set in place to run the scheme until March 2019 across Greater Manchester. Mayor Andy Burnham, when speaking to the BBC said it was a step towards combatting a ‘humanitarian crisis’. Despite being one of the top priorities on his agenda, homelessness has risen since Mr Burnham became mayor, nevertheless, the number of beds provided in night shelters has doubled in the last year to 350.
The scheme will be accessible to people whose previous address was within the Greater Manchester region, with some shelters being open 24 hours a day, similar to one found in Ardwick run by Riverside Homes. Not only will the scheme provide shelter, it will also give people the opportunity to register at GP surgery’s and access job centres, helping to get them back on their feet.
When speaking to the BBC, a rough sleeper, Ricky, recalled being attacked when sleeping on the streets of Liverpool. His week-long stay in at a hospital provided him with a bed for the first time in 7 years.
There is a strict no violence and drugs policy within the shelters, claims Mike Wright from GMCA, with the goal of helping rough sleepers beat addiction and keeping them off the streets.
The scheme will be funded by contributions from donors and the public.