GM Mayor Andy Burnham has announced a £6m funding package to reduce homelessness in Greater Manchester for the second phase of the flagship A Bed Every Night scheme.
400 places have been commissioned up to June 2020 to end the need for rough sleeping in all Greater Manchester boroughs. This marks a substantial increase on the 300 beds available in Phase 1. It is hoped that the extra provision will mean that there should be a place for every person seeking support. As with Phase 1, support will be limited to people whose last address was in Greater Manchester.
As well as increasing the number of places, Phase 2 seeks to improve the quality of support. Provision will be more varied ensuring that people’s specific needs can be met, including women-only spaces, provision for couples and, through the greater involvement of NHS colleagues, those with complex needs such as addictions and mental health. There will also be more options for people with dogs.
This news comes ahead of Vincent Kompany’s Testimonial on 11 September 2019 which will be raising money for A Bed Every Night through Tackle4Mcr, demonstrating again the growing strength of Greater Manchester’s unique social partnership to tackle homelessness.
The ground-breaking A Bed Every Night scheme – the first of its kind in the UK – started 1st November 2018 to provide a bed, warm welcome and personal support for anyone sleeping on the streets.
In Phase 1, there was over £3.3m of funding for 300 beds. Since it launched, 2003 people have been supported through it and 688 have moved on to secure and long-term accommodation. On an average night, 300 people have been supported. This wouldn’t have happened without the involvement of a range of partners from the GMCA, 10 local authorities, voluntary and faith groups, amongst many others.
Phase 2 of A Bed Every Night has sought to learn from feedback on Phase 1. It includes more beds, more professional involvement, more secure funding and stronger partnerships between different funding agencies and organisations. These include: the GMCA, the 10 Councils, Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership, Greater Manchester Police, Ministry of Justice and HM Prison and Probation Service, Greater Manchester Mayor’s Charity, Raise the Roof, Tackle4MCR and the Greater Manchester Homelessness Action Network.
The two main funding partnership are GMCA and the GMHSCP, with the contribution from the latter now at £2m – up from the £1.5m announced in June 2019. As well as improving the quality of accommodation, there will be more training of front-line staff and volunteers and improve signposting, screening and assessment into relevant health services.
The 400 bed spaces are being provided by a range of organisations from voluntary, faith, community groups and housing providers.
The Mayor has also announced a new public information leaflet on A Bed Every Night which explains what the scheme is, how it works, what to do if they see someone sleeping rough, and how to donate time, money or goods.
A Bed Every Night Phase 2 will go live 1st October 2019.
Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham said:
“In 2017, I made a firm commitment to do everything I could to end the need for rough sleeping by 2020 and it remains my top priority. With this strengthening of A Bed Every Night, I believe we have a plan that honours that pledge.
“People gave us honest feedback on Phase 1 and these new plans seeks to respond to it. It is not perfect but it is getting better all the time. Today Greater Manchester is going up yet another gear in its response to the homelessness crisis.
“I am hugely grateful to all of our partners for answering the call to action and rallying round. I am particularly indebted to our colleagues in the NHS whose greater input into A Bed Every Night will make a huge difference.”
Deputy Chief Constable Ian Pilling of Greater Manchester Police said:
“A key priority for GMP is protecting the most vulnerable in society and this includes those who sleep on our streets.
“Being compassionate and offering support where needed is the first step in our response as we recognise how vulnerable those sleeping on the streets can be. We’ve backed A Bed Every Night from the start because we know a range of agencies and organisations on the frontline need to work together to help people off the streets and into safe accommodation.”