The number of rough sleepers in Salford has risen by 600 per cent in the past five years.
Ahead of the coldest months of the year, Salford City Council has pledged £308,000 to support rough sleepers across the city.
The money will be spent on eight new emergency beds, along with 20 self-contained homes providing a safe environment for people at risk of ending up on the streets, until long-term accommodation is found for them.
Councillor Tracy Kelly, Salford City Council’s lead member for housing and neighbourhoods, said: “We’ve worked with local charities and landlords to help people off the streets and into accommodation. But, we’ve still seen a 600 per cent increase in rough sleepers which is why new funding from the government’s rough sleepers initiative is welcome.
“Without a lot of hard work by the council, the support of our partner organisations and huge amounts of charitable work by many local people those figures would be far worse.”
She said: “This year the government has introduced the Homelessness Reduction Act expecting councils to give more help to people at risk of homelessness yet the funding they provide for that support is hugely inadequate.
“At the same time they are slashing funding for public services which means we have less and less money to tackle the root causes of homelessness and pushing through savage cuts to welfare and housing benefits, particularly for younger people.”
This project has been supplemented by a county wide campaign called A Bed Every Night, being introduced in November. Support for the project comes from all 10 councils in the Greater Manchester area, with a pledge to end the need for rough sleeping by 2020.
A blog published by Greater Manchester’s Mayor Andy Burnham includes a scathing indictment of the issue that is effecting the whole nation. It states:
‘The scale of Britain’s homelessness crisis, hidden for too long, is finally becoming known. It equates to more than a death every night. And let’s be clear: that is nothing short of a national disgrace.’
The campaign is open for donations and will officially roll out on Thursday November 1, with the initial assessment showing that between 250 and 300 places will be available from day one.
Vincent Kompany, Manchester City’s club captain, has pledged his support for the cause. The 32-year-old will celebrate his 10-year anniversary at City with a testimonial game, the proceeds of which will supplement Burnham’s homelessness fund.
To donate to support the Bed Every Night campaign and help bring an end to rough sleepers, follow this link.
To become involved in tackling the problem locally, contact one of the charities marked on the map: