Manchester Homelessness Partnership Newsletter: March 2024 (Edited)

Here is the full version of the e-bulletin March 2024.

Manchester Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Strategy Launch Event  
Tuesday 27 February was the launch event for the above strategy at Friends Meeting House in Manchester. Over 55 people attended and it provided an opportunity to hear more about the strategy and it’s focus, the development of the action plan and how it will be monitored.
Manchester Homelessness Partnership will play a key role in monitoring the action plan which goes live from April 2024.
Sophie from Shelter presented about Manchester Maze and Debbie kindly shared her lived experiences of being homeless and finding accommodation. Please take the time to visit this website and find your way through the Manchester Maze.
Additional work was agreed to ensure actions for young people, women and links to probation were strengthened in the action plan. 

“What an energising afternoon! Absolutely brilliant session with  Manchester Homelessness Partnership and Manchester City Council colleagues. An abundance of passion, ideas and commitment from everyone in the room and a renewed sense of hope, amidst all of the challenges we face together”

“Great afternoon in company of brilliant Manchester Homelessness VCSE organisations @McrHomelessness and @ManCityCouncil team to launch Homelessness Strategy and start work on action plan. So much collective will, expertise and positivity to #EndHomelessness despite ongoing challenges”

“Thanks for organising the event! It was great to spend time with other organisations and people who share our vision of ending homelessness and rough sleeping in Manchester”

Calls To Action 
Women’s Homelessness Involvement Group (WHIG)
A successful launch event of the action group “Give The Mum A Chance” campaign was held in February.
The campaign has three clear asks:
1) Development of a day centre for women and children experiencing homelessness in Manchester.
2) A more trauma-informed and preventative approach across services in Manchester, particularly around women who have had (or are at risk of having) children removed.
3) An increased awareness of the different ways in which women experience homelessness in Manchester.
Sign up today to the ‘Give The Mum A Chance’ petition and support this campaign.
Young People Action Group 
An online meeting took place on Tuesday 4 March to develop this new action group. This action group is being co-chaired by akt and Centrepoint Manchester. The priority areas for young people were agreed as:

  • Accommodation
  • Prevention
  • Women and young girls
  • Mental health and wellbeing
  • Access to and availability of services
  • Collaborative and partnership working

A plan on a page is being developed with actions for sharing at the next meeting which is due to take place in April 2024. If you are interested in joining this action group, email 
Employment Action Group
The next Employment Action Group meeting is taking place on Tuesday 2 April from 2.30pm to 4.30pm at Macc, 3rd Floor, 20 Swan Street, Manchester, M4 5JW.
Mental Health Action Group
The next Mental Health Action Group meeting will be taking place on Thursday 11 April from 1pm to 3pm at the Booth Centre, Edward Holt House, Pimblett Street, M31FU. Please arrive and sign in at the reception.
Prevention Action Group
The Prevention Action Group is using this form to help improve communications across the city between organisations whose primary or secondary focus is around homelessness prevention. Please help and complete the form.
The Activities and Wellbeing Action Group is meeting on Monday 22 April from 12pm to 2pm at the Booth Centre, Edward Holt House, Pimblett Street, M31FU. Please arrive and sign in at the reception. This is a new group looking at partnership working, mapping out of activities already being delivered by voluntary and community groups supporting people who are homeless or facing homelessness across Manchester, identifying needs and any gaps around activities that could be offered. 

Information about all of our action groups can be found on the Manchester Homelessness Partnership website.  

Useful Information 

Homeless and the rise in domestic abuse
Did you know that in Manchester in 2022/2023, there was a 68 per cent increase in the number of people identifying as black presenting as homeless due to domestic abuse?  Saheli provides an emergency refuge accommodation, specialist counseling, training, and empowering Black, Asian and minoritised women to make informed choices and get the support they need. You can call Saheli on 0161 945 4187 or email
Respect Men’s Advice Line 
supports men experiencing domestic abuse. You can call them on freephone 0808 8010327.
Domestic abuse can affect anyone at any time – there are no restrictions and it happens to people from all walks of life.
Greater Manchester Domestic Abuse Helpline – 0800 254 0909
24/7 National Helpline Number – 0808 2000 247
Here are a list of services in Manchester that can help and support someone experiencing domestic abuse. 

Homelessness Palliative Care Service
This service from St Ann’s Hospice supports clients, keyworkers and health and social care staff when someone’s health is getting worse. This can be from Liver Disease, COPD, cancer or a combination of issues.

Did you know that 1 in 5 people who experience homelessness also experience gambling harm?
Homelessness and Gambling Harm Toolkit – free resources from Simon Community and Gambling Harm. Thanks to Street Support for raising awareness of this useful resource. 

Street Paws
Street Paws is a non-profit organisation that was founded in 2016 with the aim of providing free and accessible veterinary care and support services to pets of homeless people in the UK. Watch this video about Bumper and J in Manchester.    
“Most of us have probably never experienced homelessness first hand but at some point or another we have all felt lost. In these instances we seek things to keep us going and to find our way. In Manchester city centre Bumper is what keeps J navigating his life”  

Local and Mayoral elections to take place on 2 May 
There are local and mayoral elections taking place on 2 May and if you are planning to vote at a polling station, you’ll need photo ID. If you don’t currently have photo ID you can apply for a free voter authority certificate. Find out which forms of ID are accepted and apply for free voter ID if you need it via the electoral commission

A student healthcare guide to supporting people experiencing homelessness
This e-learning course from Fairhealth and Pathway provides a comprehensive understanding of homelessness and will equip students with the knowledge to provide holistic and effective care.

What is StreetLink?
StreetLink is a platform that connects people rough sleeping in England and Wales to support provided by local authorities and charities.
This includes anyone who is sleeping outside, preparing to bed down, or sleeping somewhere not designed for habitation, such as a car. To make these connections, the platform relies on alerts submitted by members of the public and people sleeping rough.

Niall’s Corner                                            
Cat the cat owned by NiallI volunteer at Coffee4Craig in Manchester who work with street homeless people. My role is the lead liaison worker for arranging bank accounts and birth certificates for homeless people with no identification. In my spare time I voluntarily compile food poverty lists amongst other information as they are a much needed and a well-used resource.
Homeless and getting a bank account
Having a bank account is something we all take for granted yet people without ID or a fixed address can be and are excluded from society and having access to a bank account.
Vulnerable people can be and are sometimes victims of financial abuse by family members or friends by having their benefits paid in to the family member or friends account and are then charged by them for access to their own money or even worse refused access to their money.
Even if the homeless person can get access to a bank account appointment the homeless service has to sometimes supply a letter of introduction and jump through a lot of hoops and all this takes time and provides yet another barrier and a worrying time a vulnerable person has to overcome. Read how Niall is helping people get a bank account.

Blogs, Journals and Reports 
Always at the Bottom of the Pile: The Homeless and Inclusion Health Barometer 2024
This report, the first of its kind from Pathway and Crisis, reveals how the national crisis facing both our health and housing systems leads to worsening health for people in inclusion health groups.
What is it like to be homeless and ill?
This short film, aimed at health care providers, outlines some of the challenges that people who are homeless and living in hostels face when trying to access health care, and gives some recommendations for improving care. This is based upon research that was conducted Dr Caroline Shulman and Dr Briony Hudson from Pathway and The Marie Curie Palliative Care Research department, University College London.
Strength in numbers – how Manchester’s Street Engagement Hub is meeting people’s complex needs
The Manchester RISE service from Change Grow Live (CGL) is part of an innovative partnership model that is helping people access the support that is right for them. Head of Services Jackie McVann explains how the Street Engagement Hub is meeting people’s complex needs.
UBI Lab Manchester: Tackling Homelessness with Unconditional Cash Transfers
This online event by UBI Lab took place in February with a discussion on how giving unconditional cash to people who are homeless is helping them turn their own lives around. If you were unable to attend, you can watch the video
What Works Evidence Notes – Prison Discharge and Homelessness
This series from the Centre for Homelessness Impact draws together research evidence from across the world of what they know about how best to relieve and prevent homelessness. This evidence note focuses on what they know about what works to prevent homelessness when individuals are discharged from prison.
The mental health of asylum seekers and refugees in the UK
Asylum seekers and refugees can face many inequalities in accessing what they need for good mental health. This new report from the Mental Health Foundation addresses the mental health of asylum seekers and refugees in the UK and calls for government action to protect their mental health.
Flow of Rough Sleeping Report (DLUHC)
The Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities has recently published this research report into the Flow of Rough Sleeping. Read the report here.
More Than a Roof: Exploring the holistic outcomes of Housing First
Homeless Link has published their research report into Housing First Outcomes. Expert Link were commissioned to conduct the peer research element of this and the full report can be read here.
No Expectations: Access to and experiences of social and private accommodation for homeless young people
Over the last few decades, social housing has become increasingly inaccessible for young people with experiences of homelessness. As such, young people, particularly those with experiences of homelessness and who rely on benefits as their main source of income, are frequently blocked from the private rented sector. This research from Centrepoint explores these conditions by investigating the accessibility of social and private rented sector accommodation for young people experiencing homelessness in England.
The value of gender-informed approaches to homelessness support
In this Homeless Link guest blog published on International Women’s Day, Professor Sarah Johnsen reflects on a hard-hitting study about women’s experiences of multiple disadvantage, and emphasises the importance of gender-informed responses.
The mental health of asylum seekers and refugees in the UK
This report from the Mental Health Foundation presents evidence on the circumstances which asylum seekers and refugees in the UK can face, and how these experiences can harm their mental health and even lead to suicidal feelings and actions. 

Manchester MAZE

In summer 2022, a community reporting network was formed in Manchester with a group of people with lived experience of unfit housing and homelessness.

The Manchester Maze is a concept created by the group – a collection of human stories, hearing from those trying to navigate a housing system that is not fit for purpose.

It is based on their own real-life experiences, the story of communities on the edge during a cost of living crisis and the housing emergency, trying to get the help they need and deserve. Please take the time to visit the Manchester Maze website, find your way through it and watch the co-produced films.