In spite of the festivities and high spirits, the cold winter months can be hard-hitting. With darker days, earlier nights and biting temperatures – winter is not always the most wonderful time of the year. Especially not for the homeless.
According to recent statistics from Manchester-based Brydon Court the number of people living on the streets has increased significantly in the past six years. The organisation’s Outreach staff works with entrenched rough sleepers to help empower them to become stable in accommodation.
The service deals with single people and couples and provides a high tolerance approach to support that is person-centred. With their outreach team working to engage those most in need, their work is based on the streets of Manchester.
TNT spoke to X, a homeless man who has been living on the streets for 2 years. After not receiving significant help from the council, X begs in order to survive.
Despite trying to seek shelter in hostels for the homeless, X was kicked out after not meeting the requirements.
“It gets harder and harder every year. The cold is unbearable at times”.
With so many on the streets, and especially at this time of year, a sense of community is created among the homeless.
£1.5m investment from Manchester City Council
Manchester City Council’s Councillor Paul Andrews, Executive Member for Adult Health and Wellbeing spoke to TNT about Homelessness in Manchester. “The causes are many and complicated. The problem of homelessness is wider than just rough sleeping. Manchester is not alone in seeing a rise in the overall number of individuals and families who have become statutorily homeless”, he said.
According to X, it is the generosity of people in the Christmas months as well as the sense of community that support him through the toughest time of the year.
In response to the rising rough sleepers in the city, Manchester City Council has plans in motion. “We are planning to invest £1.5m to help address pressures on services for the homeless in 2017/8”, Councillor Andrews said.
This includes, “increasing the number of bed spaces available across the city. We have expanded our rough sleeper team and are working with all partners to help the most entrenched rough sleepers”.
There are also several charities in Manchester that seek to relieve the less fortunate.
Albert Kennedy, Mustard Tree, Barnabus and Shelter Greater Manchester are just a few of the many charities. They work towards improving the condition of those on the streets by providing charity in the form of food, clothing and living equipment.
The continuous growth of the numbers of homeless in Manchester has meant that our city has the highest figures in the country, outside London.
TNT News Alexia Hendrickson