MANCHESTER will be part of a new £40 million government scheme in order to combat homelessness.
The program is aimed at allowing local authorities to pilot new initiatives to tackle homelessness in their area with prevention at its heart.
It was announced by the Prime Minister and Communities Secretary Sajid Javid.
Speaking at the launch, Theresa May said: “We know there is no single cause of homelessness but I am determined to do more to prevent it happening by supporting those facing challenging issues like domestic abuse, addiction, mental health issues or redundancy, whilst also being prepared to offer a safety net to catch those who might simply be struggling to get by.“
Manchester will receive an initial £20 million earmarked as trailblazer funding, which will be used to provide innovative solutions to the problem of homelessness, and will be spread across four years.
The program also includes a new £10 million rough sleeping prevention fund to help homeowners who are ‘struggling to get by’ from ending up on the street.
A further £10 million Social Impact Bond programme has also been launched to help long-term rough sleepers who may be bouncing chaotically through the housing system.
The additional funding also comes in the wake of a study by the housing charity shelter, which found More than four in 10 Britons live in homes that do not reach acceptable standards in cleanliness, safety and space.
Over to the council to tackle the problem.
No one living in Manchester, or any major northern city for that matter, will deny the fact that homelessness is a major issue.
Last year there were officially 43 rough sleepers in the city centre alone, but unofficially it could be a lot more.
It’s a problem that most of us are aware of, almost everyone at some point will have been asked for money whilst walking past the Arndale or through St. Peter’s square.
You want to help and be generous of course, but if you’re like me feel a sense of guilt that I should help all those without a home rather than help the one person who was lucky enough to come across your kindness.
The issue is so well known, even Gary Neville opened up a ‘hotel’ to the tune of £150,000 out of his own back pocket in order to give those living on the streets protection and a roof over their heads, however that closed in January this year.
However, the total amount of money from the government amounts to almost £1 million for each homeless person, what seems an adequate sum of money to tackle what is a burdening issue for Manchester.
The crucial part of this scheme however, is the fact that £20 million should be spent on innovative solutions.
The city is now brutally aware that whatever current methods are in place are either cripplingly underfunded or brutally inadequate.
Cynically speaking, Manchester City Council has a habit of being slightly less than efficient with money, with council workers being gifted 349 iPads in the 2013/14 financial year at the cost of £130,809.83, or spending spending £425,000 to help stage a concert by Alicia Keys.
The city has been crying out for ages for money to solve homelessness, now it has the grant it needs to spend it much more efficiently then it has done on issues in the past.
As the nights begin to draw in, this money is so welcomed by the city and cannot come soon enough, however equally cannot be allowed to go to waste, because if anything less that every homeless person is helped by the scheme then it might as well count for nothing; as Sajid Javid said: “One person without a home is one too many.”