Manchester cuts rough sleeping for second consecutive year

Figures show that for the second consecutive year the number of people sleeping rough in Greater Manchester has fallen, opposing previous trends of increases since 2010.

The Greater Manchester Combined Authority data shows local councils’ rough sleeper outreach teams recently recorded 195 individuals living outdoors across the 10 boroughs, in contrast to 241 recorded as part of the government’s official rough sleeper count which took place in November 2018.

The drop of 19 per cent continues the downward trend first recorded in January with the publication of the official rough sleeper count, which revealed a decrease of eight per cent, the first time rough sleeping had fallen in Greater Manchester in almost a decade. Since 2010, rough sleeping had been increasing, reaching a high of 268 people in 2017.

Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, has pledged further action. His scheme aiming to help end the need for rough sleeping in Greater Manchester city-region by 2020, has entered a second more intensive phase, with more than 400 beds due to be ready within a week for people sleeping rough.

Phase 2 of A Bed Every Night is funded through a comprehensive £6m package from a range of partners including the Greater Manchester Combined Authority and with £2 million from the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership. As well as improving the quality of accommodation, there will be more training for front-line staff and volunteers and improve signposting, screening and assessment into relevant health services.

Burnham said: “While fewer people are sleeping rough in Greater Manchester than when I came into office, I am not in any way complacent and know so much more needs to be done. But these figures show that the commitment of our councils and community organisations is making a real difference, and I want to thank everyone for making A Bed Every Night such a strong response to the homelessness crisis.

“As a result, Greater Manchester is entering the coming winter with a stronger set of arrangements for people sleeping rough than we have ever had. We have more places to stay of a better quality and are well on the way towards our goal of ending the need for rough sleeping.”

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