Frontline charities and local authorities have issued an urgent appeal for support after a depot housing 40,000 products for the vulnerable was raided on bank holiday weekend.
Thieves used bolt cutters to access the lot on Swan Street, taking thousands of pounds worth of food, hand sanitiser and toiletries.
The emergency supplies depot had been set up by property group Capital & Centric and Kamani Property to help people during the pandemic, and owner Tim Heatley said he felt “terrible” for all the organisations who’d had their donations stolen.
Now the Greater Manchester Homelessness Action Network and Greater Manchester Mayors Charity are asking for help from the community to replenish supplies.
The list of items urgently required include:
- PPE supplies (face masks, gloves etc.)
- Non-perishable food (e.g. tins, dried pasta, sugar, coffee/tea)
- Large quantity of take out containers and disposable cutlery
- Solo activities for adults and children (books, jigsaws, puzzles, colouring pads and pens)
- Mobile phones and chargers
- Ready meals
- Laundry powder
- Gluten-free and vegetarian food
- Hygiene packs, including; wet wipes, hand sanitizers (60% alcohol if possible), individual packs of tissues, toothbrushes and toothpaste, flannels, shampoo, shower gel, sanitary products, deodorant, hand wash, toilet roll
Items will be provided to a wide network of charities, which include The Manna House, Barnabus, the Booth Centre, Mustard Tree, Back on Track, Greater Together Manchester, Cornerstones, MASH, the Mens Room, Back on Track, Red Door, The Wellspring and many more.
Dee Lowry, warehouse coordinator at GMHAN, said: “All of us are facing unexpected challenges in the wake of the coronavirus crisis. However, for the thousands of people across Greater Manchester who are without a home, the struggle to survive is more serious than ever before.
“We’ve been working closely with people in the community, as well as frontline organisations to ensure that we’re meeting the needs of people who are homeless. As part of this vital work, we’ve received an overwhelming demand for the essential items included on our Live Needs List.
Dee continued: “We have been making great progress with the initiative, but the break in has set us back immensely, and the demand is bigger than ever and only expected to grow due to the economic consequences of COVID-19.
“We’re hoping that the people of Greater Manchester will come together to support people who are homeless through this difficult time.”
GMHAN has been working with local authorities and the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) to source hotels with single bed accommodation for those currently sleeping rough or living in shared sleeping accommodation.
The network is also taking steps to support the transition for people as they move out of temporary accommodation and into a maintained supported environment.