Riverside’s Eleanor Watts – co-coordinator of the A Bed Every Night initiative, reflects on today’s excellent news that rough sleeper numbers have fallen by 37% across Greater Manchester.
In November 2018, Greater Manchester became the first city-region in Britain to commit to providing A Bed Every Night for “every single person” already on streets or at imminent risk of sleeping rough who wants and needs one.
This incredible reduction in rough sleeping of more than a third (37%) just goes to show what can be achieved when agencies and communities come together to help end homelessness. Riverside are delighted to be working in partnership to end rough sleeping across Greater Manchester and these results are an excellent start to achieving this.
A Bed Every Night is pioneering a new way forward to tackle homelessness in Britain and the Mayor and Greater Manchester as a whole should be proud of how we are coming together to combat rough sleeping on our streets.
It is vitally important to recognise that this has taken the efforts of thousands of people and many agencies working together to achieve this.
This steep reduction in rough sleeping would not have been possible in an area as large as Greater Manchester without the support of Housing First, the Social Impact Bond, Rough Sleeper Initiative funding and a strong network of organisations providing supported housing.
Ending rough sleeping is the first, and in many ways, the most important part of our challenge, as it helps to prevent people developing significant physical and mental health problems from sleeping rough out in the cold on the streets.
During the second year of A Bed Every Night we’re working even more closely together with organisations like the NHS and initiatives like Housing First to provide people with the tailored personal support they need to stay off the streets for good.”
Eleanor Watts, Riverside’s area manager for Greater Manchester, co-ordinates A Bed Every Night across Greater Manchester.