Manchester City Council uses empty buildings for rough sleepers
The buildings will be opened from next month as part of an ongoing campaign to improve services available for rough sleepers and homeless people in Manchester and make sure more bed spaces are available across the city.
They will be used to make sure overnight accommodation is available over the winter months. The city council is continuing to inspect other empty buildings across Manchester to see whether they can also be opened.
And the city council is also opening up three buildings in other areas of Manchester, which had previously operated as shared houses, creating extra bed spaces to provide temporary accommodation for rough sleepers.
These new buildings, together with other spaces recently opened up by the city council – as well as spaces due to be opened up by faith groups – will mean up to an extra 165 bed spaces will be available across the city for rough sleepers this winter.
Rough sleepers will be referred to the new centres in Hulme and Harpurhey by homelessness organisations, and people will be helped to access the daytime services that exist to support the homeless.
The city council will work with an experienced provider of specialist support for homeless people, which will manage the buildings and provide staff who will be on site overnight.
They will be able to help occupants provide access to a range of organisations that can help them, including by providing access to medical and mental health support and to drug and alcohol services.
Cllr Paul Andrews, Manchester City Council’s executive member for adult health and well-being, said: “We’ve spent months working on plans to open up empty buildings across the city to make sure nobody has to sleep rough on the streets this winter.
“While providing shelter and a roof over their heads is obviously a good start, what’s really important is working with charities, faith groups and our own homelessness services to make sure the right help and support is available to rough sleepers so we can help them make the first steps towards getting off the streets for good.”