A Bed Every night provides a bed, warm welcome, and personal support for anyone who is sleeping rough or at imminent risk of sleeping rough in Greater Manchester.
The scheme is part of an innovative and holistic approach to end the need for rough sleeping. It brings together a range of organisations, working together in a joined-up way, including the GMCA and the Mayor, 10 local authorities, GM Health and Social Care Partnership, Greater Manchester and other Criminal Justice Agencies and the Homelessness Action Network, to make sure the individual needs of people who are homeless are being met.
It has been running since the 1st of November 2018 across all ten boroughs, and since then 3318 people have been accommodated, and 1186 have been assisted into longer term accommodation.
We are glad to be a recognised provider of emergency accommodation within A Bed Every Night. This winter, we have been able to provide 799 bed spaces through our night shelter alone. The Boaz night shelter sees hundreds of people coming together from many different backgrounds and walks of life to do everything needed - from serving hot meals to washing bedding and lots else in between - to provide our guests with a safe place to stay and a warm welcome when they need it most.
As the winter months go by, we wanted to share with you a couple of stories from those who have stayed this year, as told by our night shelter coordinator Vron:
J came to the night shelter after spending the last 10 years staying on people’s sofas and sleeping on the streets. J has had many years of struggling to get by, with very little support. He had tears in his eyes while talking with us (as did we!). He seemed lost and disheartened when he arrived, but within the first few days we were able to arrange an appointment for him to see a solicitor at our office, and signposted him to register with a local GP. We know that night shelter life is far from ideal, but with the support we can offer and that of our wonderful volunteers, we see a little bit of hope restored.
F was referred to the night shelter with some health issues. He couldn’t get to the night shelter after being discharged from hospital, but thankfully we were able to book a taxi to collect him. He was taken to the night shelter reception where volunteers made him feel welcomed and safe. We met with him the next day to find out how we could support F further.
He was in need of important medical support but had no GP. We arranged for him to go to a local medical centre to sign up, and paid for his first prescription while he waits for his medical certificate to arrive. F also needed somewhere to store his suitcase of belongings which we were able to arrange. His face lit up when he was given a rucksack to use rather than carry a heavy suitcase around! F has been much brighter since some of his basic needs were met. F said ‘I need something to do, I can’t sit still and do nothing all day’, and is now hoping to attend a college course to improve his English skills.
We are grateful that as a result of the A Bed Every Night initiative there is now a more straightforward pathway to access emergency accommodation for people like J and F.