The Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham has announced £6m of funding for Phase 2 of his homelessness scheme A Bed Every Night.
The funding will commission 400 additional places across Greater Manchester’s ten boroughs on the scheme up to June 2020.
These will add to the 300 beds from Phase 1 of the scheme, which aims to provide a bed and personal support for anyone sleeping on Greater Manchester’s streets.
As well as increasing the number of spaces, Phase 2 of A Bed Every Night will improve the scheme’s quality of support, providing more varied provision for rough sleepers such as women-only spaces, provision for couples and provision for people with complex health needs.
Burnham said that ending the need for rough sleeping in Greater Manchester by 2020 remains his ‘top priority’.
Burnham said: ‘In 2017, I made a firm commitment to do everything I could to end the need for rough sleeping by 2020 and it remains my top priority. With this strengthening of A Bed Every Night, I believe we have a plan that honours that pledge.
‘People gave us honest feedback on Phase 1 and these new plans seeks to respond to it. It is not perfect but it is getting better all the time. Today Greater Manchester is going up yet another gear in its response to the homelessness crisis.’
Since A Bed Every Night launched in November 2018, it has supported 2003 people – an average of 300 people a night – and helped 688 move on to secure long-term accommodation.
The Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) said that Phase 2 will not only see more beds, but more professional involvement and stronger partnerships between the numerous organisations involved.
Front-line staff and volunteers will receive further training, while signposting, screening and assessment into relevant health services will also be improved.
The 400 new beds will be provided by a range of organisations from voluntary, faith and community groups as well as housing providers.
Cllr Sue Murphy, deputy leader of Manchester City Council, said the council would contribute 70 additional emergency beds for rough sleepers as part of its continued support of the scheme.
Cllr Murphy said: ‘The rise in homelessness and rough sleeping is one of the biggest challenges we face today and it is not one that we can solve in isolation.
‘A Bed Every Night is one way we are able to support some of the most vulnerable members of society, and it will add to our existing services that help people get off the streets, and rebuild their lives.’
The second phase of A Bed Every Night will go live starting October 1 2019.
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