Working together to tackle homelessness in the North West

Housing First is a strategy aimed at helping rough sleepers.

Earlier this month, Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham announced that he had chosen housing association, Great Places, to deliver the city region’s Housing First programme.

As reported by Inside Housing: Under the scheme, the 19,000-home landlord will lead a consortium aiming to rehouse 400 people over the next three years, backed by £7.6m of government funding.

Housing First is a strategy aimed at helping rough sleepers. It involves immediately moving rough sleepers into their own accommodation and then building services around that, rather than progressing them through emergency shelters and temporary accommodation.

Meanwhile, in Liverpool, it was recently reported that the number of rough sleepers had halved in a year. However, many North West companies like our own continue to work hard to support those in our community in the greatest need. Back in December, the Advantage team joined forces with other local businesses including Signworks to raise money for the Whitechapel Centre (the leading homeless and housing charity for the Liverpool region).

We also invited our customers to drop off the items that homeless people need the most at our Warrington office and have been doing so again this month. We’re really grateful to everyone who’s helped us to raise funds and collect essentials for the Whitechapel Centre and we’re very proud to see the way that so many businesses in the region have worked together to help to ensure that everyone has a roof over their head.

In Manchester, Andy Burnham pledged to end the need for rough sleeping in the city-region by May 2020. He said:

“This is the latest step on our journey. Housing First is a proven successful model. Delivering a sustainable and impactful Housing First service across Greater Manchester will be crucial if we are to make good on our promise to address the humanitarian crisis that is homelessness, and rough sleeping in particular.

“Great Places have an ambitious approach and their bold aims match ours – in this day and age no-one should be without a home and in Greater Manchester we are doing things differently, choosing to prioritise tackling homelessness as a matter of urgency.

“Alongside the tremendous progress made by our A Bed Every Night and Social Impact Bond programmes, Housing First will ensure hundreds of people who currently live precarious lives will be helped to begin their recoveries and move away from homelessness. But this is a crisis situation – much needs to be done and quickly. Let’s get to work.”

Related feature: Looking back on Advantage’s Alder Hey golf day.

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