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. This week, the team was greeted at one of the B&Bs by children asking “have you brought any toys?” These children have very little space to play, and very little to occupy or to stimulate them.
The SHF team are now keen to access educational toys and games for children aged 5-12 years old as well as laptops, which would be kept in secure, accessible community spaces.
If you can help – either with educational toys, games or laptops, please contact Charlotte Cockman, Manager on firstname.lastname@example.org
The number of homeless families across Greater Manchester currently exceeds 1500, with evidence showing hidden homeless and hidden households equate to 10 x higher than official statistics.
In the last three years, the number of homeless families in Manchester has risen from approximately 144 to 1250. Statistics indicate 1 in 59 children in Manchester are homeless or in temporary accommodation.
When you look to Greater Manchester, Oldham has seen the second largest increase in the number of homeless children over a five-year period – with a 1400% increase.
These figures provide only a glimpse in to the current extent of this growing issue!
With levels reaching crisis point, Shared Health Foundation has been working with agencies and council teams, as well as families with lived experience of homelessness, to investigate the difficulties being faced.
A snapshot of some of the work we are doing:
Producing our insight report and proposals for change.
We've presented findings from our initial scoping work which highlights then extent of homelessness among families and the impact this has on health and social outcomes in both the short- and long- term.
We have proposed changes which need to be implemented to protect the wellbeing of a growing number of affected children across GM.
Read our report HERE.
Faith Sector and Cultural Partnerships with B&Bs.
Creating intentional links with ground level community and faith organisations to reduce isolation and improve well being and quality of life for those living in temporary accommodation Practical support is offered and a consistent base and contact which is much needed during transitional periods.
Forest School Trauma Intervention Programme.
Aiming to build resilience, create unique community support opportunities and provide a safe space where children can feel a sense of belonging. Forest School interventions have been shown to positively impact education and learning in other areas.
Connection Building and Supporting Local Businesses.
Supporting local businesses and initiatives to grow whilst developing relationships with those in the community most at need. Such as:
- The Birthday Stars Project - Providing parties, entertainment and gifts so no child feels left behind or forgotten.
- Manchester Museum - Providing bespoke behind the scenes creative sessions for our children in temporary accommodation. They provide a safe space for play and education whilst empowering the children to guide the programme.