Salford homeless

Homeless friendly is a charity based in Salford and it has been handing out hygiene packs to rough sleepers during the epidemic in an effort to help them during the tough time.

With no safe place to sleep, no food and limited access to healthcare, the situation they find themselves in is dire.

But Homeless Friendly in Salford started an initiative to help them, they have been handing out hygiene kits.

Peter Gibson, who works for the charity, said “The hygiene packs consist of hand gel, masks, gloves, plasters and crucially information on where they can find medical support.

“When it comes to healthcare the homeless have been forgotten full stop.

“The average life expectancy of a rough sleeper is 47 years of age.”

In figures from Shelter, there are an estimated 320,000 homeless people across the UK.

Over 5,000 in Manchester and over 1,000 in Salford.

Mr Gibson said: “All areas of Salford now will be coming to terms that we have a massive problem with homelessness.”

This comes after the 2018 numbers released by Salford Council which saw Salford’s number of rough sleepers increase by 600%.

He continued, “If you look at an area such as Oldham, the life expectancy in an affluent area such as Saddleworth compared to a less affluent area it can be up to 9-10 years different.”

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This is something that is seen as a big issue within the UK with people finding that, in certain areas, they are unable to get the level of care other areas have available.

Gibson touched upon this saying “One of the big issues we talk about at Homeless Friendly is health inequalities, by which we mean certain groups in society always seem to be affected more by illnesses.”

The people working at Homeless Friendly are all healthcare workers so they understand the issues rough sleepers are facing.

Mr Gibson shared details of an issue they face that we might not hear of.

He said: “One of the biggest things they face is dental problems… we started the program because we met a rough sleeper who was pulling out his teeth with pliers.”

“The difference between ourselves and rough sleepers is that they’re surviving and we’re living”

But going forward, Mr Gibson said: “Andy Burnham has put this issue right on the political map and he has shown great commitment to ending rough sleeping in Salford.”

At time of writing, Salford is on 877 confirmed cases of coronavirus.

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