A SALFORD support centre which helps thousands of poverty-stricken people, is urgently appealing for homeless people to vote in the local elections by getting in touch with the centre to register.
Bosses at Salford Unemployed Community Resource Centre, based in Eccles, are allowing people to use the centre’s own address in order to allow homeless people to vote.
The centre helps disabled, sick or injured people with their benefits, as well as those with serious debt problems.
Alec McFadden, manager at Salford Unemployed Centre said: “We started doing this last year when we noticed there was a high number of homeless people in Salford and Manchester.
“And on speaking to them, they told us that they didn’t have any right to vote.
“I’ve got to be honest when we first started they all said to us, ‘it’s a waste of time’ in the first couple of times we mentioned it. But then once you explain to them in detail and they listen everybody is then signing up.”
He added: “There are three facets to this: one, giving these people a voice.
“Two, involving them in the democratic process and as a result of that, the political parties, when they pick this up they’ll then start targeting policies at homeless people.”
“It’s another step forward for democracy.”
The centre believes that by offering the address that it will make a political statement at the ballot box in the upcoming elections.
Local election voting is notoriously low for areas up and down the country but less than a third of voters turned out to elect Greater Manchester’s first mayor last year.
Dave, 51, from Salford and who has previously been homeless and uses the centre said: “I think it’s a great doing things like this, it makes homeless people think they are actual, normal people.”
“It’s a great edge for Salford and what I think makes it stand out against other cities.
“It’s one of the many things that is taking place across the city to make a difference, and not only to homeless people’s lives.”
Greater Manchester, along with the rest of the UK, goes to the polls on May 3.
Polling stations will be open from 7am to 10pm on Thursday, and are usually public buildings such as schools or local halls.
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