Did you know that in 2019, it was reported that there were at least 91 individuals sleeping rough in Manchester? Or that in 2017, 1 in 154 Manchester residents were homeless?
Are you surprised that in 2010, the number of rough sleepers in the city was only 7?
In my 21 years of life, I have noticed a very noticeable and extreme increase in rough sleepers in Manchester city and the Greater Manchester area. While in my childhood, seeing a rough sleeper was a rarity, it is not uncommon now for me to encounter multiple in one day.
Homelessness is increasing across the UK, but is far more prevalent in urban cities such as Manchester and London. In 2019, Manchester was the local authority with the 4th highest number of rough sleepers in the UK. It was the highest in the North West.
And of course, the homelessness issue is far greater than we can realise from our experience alone. Though rough sleepers are the most visible in our society, many homeless individuals are in temporary accommodation, such as hotels and shelters, and others may be staying with a friend or family number. Many people in these situations may not be included in official homelessness statistics.
Considering this, there are roughly 5,385 homeless people in Manchester.
Ways You Can Help
Luckily, there are multiple charities in the local area attempting to combat this issue, and there are many ways you can help to support them:
You can help out a bunch just by donating some supplies. In fact, donations are crucial. Find your local charity and find out what they are in need of. This could be:
- Food: tinned and dried.
- Clothes: socks, coats, gloves, underwear, hats. Really any type of clothing in good condition will be valuable.
- Personal care: toiletries (such as shampoo, soap, conditioner), period protection, baby wipes, deodorants, hairbrushes, toothbrushes, razors. Anything that can make someone feel a bit cleaner, and a bit more hygienic.
Of course, there will be many more items that you can donate that can really make a difference. Ask your local shelter or charity what items are often in need or overlooked, and you might be surprised how easy it would be for you to provide something for someone in need.
Donate your Time
Obviously, another way to help is to contribute towards the changes these charities make. Have a look at what events and campaigns are local to you. Or, you can even become a regular volunteer. Here are a few places you can keep in mind:
- Street Support Network
Whether you donate money out of your own pocket or help to organise fundraising events, every penny you can spare will help your local charity continue to do good in your community. Just remember, if donating money is not affordable for you, that is okay! Anything at all you can do to help will make a difference.