MSV

A Focus on our Homelessness Work #WeCare

This week homelessness is on my mind.  You may have seen on the news that Greater Manchester’s Mayor Andy Burnham once again shone a light on the plight of the City’s homeless.  Alongside Liverpool’s Mayor, he arranged a high profile football match to raise awareness of the growing problem of homelessness.  The Greater Manchester local authorities and Andy, are such champions of this cause; on the coldest nights of the year he has opened the City’s fire stations to provide refuge, and has very publicly donated a percentage of his own money to help tackle the problem.

It’s thanks to pressure from politicians like Andy, and the work of our own sector through initiatives such as Homes for Cathy and Cardboard Citizens, that people are much more aware of the harsh reality of homelessness.  Many people are forced to live on the streets, unloved and uncared for, doing whatever they need to do to block out the horror of their situation.  And then there are the families living in grim temporary accommodation with no stability or hope, enduring the most inappropriate surroundings for themselves and their children – the hidden homeless in our society.

But I am heartened that homelessness is becoming part of the political vernacular, we can’t forget how hard it is for these people and I am just so glad that we can do something real and positive to help.  This year Placeshaper’s campaign is #WeCare – we know where the homeless people are in the towns and countryside across the UK and we know we need to help! We must care!

MSV is part of the Manchester 100 project, which has provided a home for individuals and families who are living in temporary accommodation.  Many people find themselves living in hostels and B&B’s and this can go on for months and months so we were only too happy to offer a number of our properties to get these people into a stable housing situation.  We have so far rehomed 4 families, and we will rehome more in the future.

We have also made a commitment to rehouse 10 rough sleepers as part of the Social Impact Bond across Greater Manchester; so far we have helped one person and this has gone extremely well.  This is in no small way due to the commitment of our Neighbourhood Team and the excellent support agencies we are working with.

Manchester’s Housing First Model works with street homeless people who have multiple and complex needs.  Everyone has a basic human right to a home and we have so far rehomed 2 single people through this scheme.  It’s fair to say this work has its ups and downs, nothing is ever straightforward, but we are committed to doing everything we can to make it work.

I’ve spoken before in my blog about our work with Syrian Refugees and I’m happy to say we are continuing to work with the Home Office to secure a safe haven for families fleeing the devastating conflict in Syria.  We are now working to bring over another family to Bury who, when they arrive, will be supported by the local Church Group and other Community volunteers – pastoral care at its very best.

And of course, the work of our Foyers and supported housing schemes to help homeless people continues to be in such demand. One recent young person our Blackburn Foyer helped is Gary.  He moved into the Foyer in 2016 after his Father passed away suddenly. He had to leave his home as the tenancy he was sharing with his Dad wasn’t in his name.  He spent two weeks sleeping on a bench by the canal before Housing Needs referred him to the Foyer.  Gary has just successfully moved on to his own tenancy after living at the Foyer for two years.  He has learned to manage his money and to run a home and is working part-time.

I feel very proud that we CAN make such a difference.  Doing much more of this kind of work was outlined as one of the key aims of the MSV merger!

And on that note, I can tell you about another challenge MSV are signing up to; the Manchester 3000, a gruelling climb up the stairs of some of Manchester’s tallest buildings.  MSV will be putting a team together which will raise money for homeless charities in the City.

Thanks everyone for all your hard work, and have a brilliant week.  And in the words of the great Confucius ‘Wisdom, compassion and courage are the 3 universally recognised qualities of men’ and of course women – and especially compassion! #WeCare

A Focus on our Homelessness Work

This week homelessness is on my mind.  You may have seen on the news that Greater Manchester’s Mayor Andy Burnham once again shone a light on the plight of the City’s homeless.  Alongside Liverpool’s Mayor, he arranged a high profile football match to raise awareness of the growing problem of homelessness.  The Greater Manchester local authorities and Andy, are such champions of this cause; on the coldest nights of the year he has opened the City’s fire stations to provide refuge, and has very publicly donated a percentage of his own money to help tackle the problem.

It’s thanks to pressure from politicians like Andy, and the work of our own sector through initiatives such as Homes for Cathy and Cardboard Citizens, that people are much more aware of the harsh reality of homelessness.  Many people are forced to live on the streets, unloved and uncared for, doing whatever they need to do to block out the horror of their situation.  And then there are the families living in grim temporary accommodation with no stability or hope, enduring the most inappropriate surroundings for themselves and their children – the hidden homeless in our society.

But I am heartened that homelessness is becoming part of the political vernacular, we can’t forget how hard it is for these people and I am just so glad that we can do something real and positive to help.  This year Placeshaper’s campaign is #WeCare – we know where the homeless people are in the towns and countryside across the UK and we know we need to help! We must care!

MSV is part of the Manchester 100 project, which has provided a home for individuals and families who are living in temporary accommodation.  Many people find themselves living in hostels and B&B’s and this can go on for months and months so we were only too happy to offer a number of our properties to get these people into a stable housing situation.  We have so far rehomed 4 families, and we will rehome more in the future.

We have also made a commitment to rehouse 10 rough sleepers as part of the Social Impact Bond across Greater Manchester; so far we have helped one person and this has gone extremely well.  This is in no small way due to the commitment of our Neighbourhood Team and the excellent support agencies we are working with.

Manchester’s Housing First Model works with street homeless people who have multiple and complex needs.  Everyone has a basic human right to a home and we have so far rehomed 2 single people through this scheme.  It’s fair to say this work has its ups and downs, nothing is ever straightforward, but we are committed to doing everything we can to make it work.

I’ve spoken before in my blog about our work with Syrian Refugees and I’m happy to say we are continuing to work with the Home Office to secure a safe haven for families fleeing the devastating conflict in Syria.  We are now working to bring over another family to Bury who, when they arrive, will be supported by the local Church Group and other Community volunteers – pastoral care at its very best.

And of course, the work of our Foyers and supported housing schemes to help homeless people continues to be in such demand. One recent young person our Blackburn Foyer helped is Gary.  He moved into the Foyer in 2016 after his Father passed away suddenly. He had to leave his home as the tenancy he was sharing with his Dad wasn’t in his name.  He spent two weeks sleeping on a bench by the canal before Housing Needs referred him to the Foyer.  Gary has just successfully moved on to his own tenancy after living at the Foyer for two years.  He has learned to manage his money and to run a home and is working part-time.

I feel very proud that we CAN make such a difference.  Doing much more of this kind of work was outlined as one of the key aims of the MSV merger!

And on that note, I can tell you about another challenge MSV are signing up to; the Manchester 3000, a gruelling climb up the stairs of some of Manchester’s tallest buildings.  MSV will be putting a team together which will raise money for homeless charities in the City.

Thanks everyone for all your hard work, and have a brilliant week.  And in the words of the great Confucius ‘Wisdom, compassion and courage are the 3 universally recognised qualities of men’ and of course women – and especially compassion! #WeCare

9th August 2018

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