Number of homeless families across GM has risen by 1000%
Homeless children living in temporary accommodation across GM
2 years is considered an average 'temporary' placement
Shared Health Foundation is a community interest company whose primary aim is to reduce the impact that poverty has on health, across all the Boroughs in Greater Manchester (GM).
SHF has been supporting homeless families across GM for the last two years, working on the ground with charities, councils, local authority providers, the Mayor, B&B owners, healthcare providers and families themselves to deliver food, education resources and community connections for families in hotel accommodation.
The number of homeless families in the region currently exceeds 1500, with evidence showing hidden homeless and hidden households equate to 10 times higher than official statistics. Around 1 in 59 children in Manchester are homeless or in temporary accommodation. These figures provide only a glimpse into the current extent of this growing issue.
This issue has come to the attention of Morrison’s CEO, who has recently made a generous donation to support the SHF team in ensuring that Manchester’s most vulnerable children don’t go hungry. With this additional support, SHF have reorganised their skeleton staff team and, working with local allies, are now providing and distributing:
One hot meal per day for all families staying in emergency hotel accommodation – supported by Feed my City, Hip Hop Chip Shop and Food Sorcery – this in addition to the breakfast packs previously provided;
Hygiene packs for all families staying in emergency hotel accommodation;
Cleaning products for hotel managers to allow weekly deep cleaning where products are in short supply;
Up-to-date guidance regarding ‘at-home’ management of both Covid-19 and non Covid-19 related incidents;
Mental health support sessions for individuals and families, alongside food and essential supplies, delivered by SHF’s qualified mental health practitioner;
Access to information is key at this time and so the team are now working on providing Wi-Fi so that concerns about data usage can be alleviated. This is opening up possibilities to access education (such as BBC bitesize and school provided lessons) and wellbeing activities that the whole family can engage with (such as Joe Wicks PE lessons). It also means information can be transmitted during lockdown more easily, including how to look after an unwell child and where to where to seek local help during this disrupted period.
Although the recent, hugely welcome, financial boost has enabled SHF to respond very practically to the health crisis, delivering this service in our most deprived communities has inevitably revealed further need.