Many homeless were found and moved to hotels when the council was given two days to get everybody off the streets towards the beginning of lockdown.
Now that homeless pandemic challenge is met….what is the next step?
Salford has suffered a dramatic increase in homelessness over the years and the pandemic had brought a whole new challenge to them. Dozens of households were found accommodation in hotels and other spare arrears as the pandemic hit at a time when homelessness in Salford had gone up by 10 per cent in a year.
Many were given pay-as-you-go mobile to keep in contact and charities have been going hand in hand to help the community by delivering free hot meals to the homeless people.
A nearby resident said: “Whenever I go to shops or big supermarkets, I see them around the car parks and near the entrance begging for money”
It wasn’t normal seeing them around places like that but because of Covid-19 many people don’t go elsewhere other than food shopping.”
Covid-19 arrival followed a year in which homelessness in Salford was at its most venerable stage. Salford City Council revealed staggering level of homelessness including a report that stated that Salford had more level of rough sleeping than Manchester; that 66 per cent of the main cause of loss of settled accommodation is due to violence, and that the majority of people homeless are under 35 years old.
Ashvan Nour, a security guard at Lidl on Fitzwarren Street, he said: “I’ve never seen homeless people come to car parks or near entrance to beg for money but due to Covid-19 they have nowhere else to go”
“I’m also not forcing them out because I know they have no other option; I’ve donated money to a good majority of them”
“There are 3 security guards working here and we’ve asked the manager kindly if they could help out in any way.”
Council is set to spend over £308,000 of government cash to bring new faculties and help find a comfortable place for the rough sleepers, but bosses argue that it’s not enough.
The manager at Lidl on Fitzwarren Street donated food and simple supplies to the homeless after the security guards had requested for help from them.
The main question still remains unanswered, where will they go after the pandemic?
There is a high chance they will be back on streets, outside shops and under bridges because the goverment only acts when something really major occurs.
Salford city council has introduced (Next Step) as a new protocol for young people presenting as ‘roofless’.
Jane Anderson- Service Manager at Salford Housing Options Point states “ The government has introduced the Homelessness Reduction Act in which the council is offering more help to people at risk of homelessness or already are roofless, we are working hard and trying to take safe steps to overcome homelessness but also the unfortunate arriving of Covid-19”.
Anderson also stated that “ ‘Next Step’ protocol will still be in action to address issues relating to former relevant young people who are deemed to be in need of accommodation.”
Salford has suffered over 600 per cent homelessness over 5 years and the council are slowly beginning to take action for reduction of this issue.
Mr Nour said: “I know that the arriving of the pandemic has caused everybody issues and work loss but I think the government has enough money and capabilities to help out the homeless in Salford.”