The Manc - Andy Burnham announces £5m to house 1,000 rough sleepers in hotels"

Andy Burnham announces £5m to house 1,000 rough sleepers in hotels

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Andy Burnham is dedicating £5m to housing 1,000 rough sleepers in the city during the coronavirus pandemic. 

The Mayor of Greater Manchester made the announcement following Wednesday's COVID-19 Emergency Committee meeting - with 625 hotel rooms already made available and a further 375 being arranged before the weekend.

Those living on the streets are considered some of the most vulnerable to the virus, and the measures brought in by Burnham will provide homeless people with a safe space to self-isolate.

The Mayor stated: “I’m announcing extensive plans to support people sleeping rough and in shared temporary accommodation in our city-region as a matter of urgency – this is our humanitarian response at a time of a national public health crisis.

“The negative impact street homelessness can have on a person’s mental and physical health is well known, and that is before you take into account the very real risks posed by possibly catching coronavirus.

“We have moved swiftly to work with our 10 local authorities, NHS and the private and faith sectors to source enough accommodation in some of our city-region’s large hotels for everyone who needs it.

"We are assisting some people accommodated in A Bed Every Night into these rooms while others are being supported from the streets or from situations where they are experiencing an imminent risk of sleeping rough. We will provide essential services of food, access to medicines, targeted support and somewhere safe to stay during an incredibly challenging time for them.”

There are plans to provide rough sleepers with mobile phones to contact loved ones and social workers during their stay.

An access route to clinical psychologist mental health, drug dependency and wellbeing support will also be created.

Catering and welfare packages (provided by Greater Manchester Homeless Action Network) containing dry food goods, utensils and hygiene products are currently in preparation.

The Mayor Greater Manchester said the city has "a moral and ethical duty to help those living vulnerable and dangerous lives on the streets."

Burnham added: "I am proud of the package we have put in place.

"No-one should have to sleep rough, especially at this uncertain time, and here in Greater Manchester we are making sure no-one has to.”

 

Featured image: NHS Confederation

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