A Bed Every Night, Greater Manchester’s bold and ambitious scheme to provide shelter for those sleeping rough, has seen a significant increase in the number of people now indoors.
More than 900 people previously living on the streets across all 10 boroughs in Greater Manchester have benefitted from A Bed Every Night’s warm, safe and supported accommodation since the scheme’s launch at the start of November. In a further sign of the positive impact of the approach, 285 individuals already supported by A Bed Every Night have stabilised and have since moved into their own supported accommodation.
Teenager Blade, from Trafford, spent nights on the streets for much of 2018. In the video above, the 19 year-old explains how A Bed Every Night accommodation, delivered by Great Places Housing Group and Trafford Council, helped him stabilise and begin to re-establish his life.
Blade is now in his own flat in Trafford, supported by Great Places. He says: “It has been a blessing, just having a foundation. I was on the streets, I had nowhere to go – sometimes I even had to stay in my friends’ cars. It just wasn’t right.
“Having this space now gives me the opportunity to look for more. I am trying to get a good job, to work things out, to slowly progress.
“For people who are in the same position as me, on the streets at a young age, I’d say try and reach out for the help. Now I feel like I’m doing a lot better, more positive. I’m just trying to build myself up because I’ve felt very low for a long time.”
The Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, said: “This winter, Greater Manchester is the only city-region in the UK providing places every single night for people sleeping rough. These figures show that our bold, unique and ambitious approach is working. We are helping people turn their lives around and A Bed Every Night is saving lives.
“In total, 901 people have been supported off the streets. That is a mightily impressive statistic. It is a testament to the hard work being undertaken across our city-region, but it also reveals the extent of the crisis and demonstrates why it was crucial for me to make tackling rough sleeping my number one priority as Mayor.
“I continue to listen to feedback regarding how A Bed Every Night is operating on the ground. Doubtless there are areas that can still be improved. But it is a massive enhancement on previous winter provision and it is only possible because of the way all 10 of our councils, plus voluntary and faith organisations, are pulling together and the generosity of our people and businesses.
“Rough sleeping and homelessness is a social scourge. In this day and age we as a country are wealthy enough and should be humane enough to ensure everyone has a roof over their head. Here in Greater Manchester, we are leading the way in showing what can be achieved with collective will and compassion.”