Manchester City Council are having to make £59 million of cuts to services in 2015/16. This includes cuts to the Homeless Prevention Grant, through which they currently provide some funding to the Booth Centre. They have launched a public consultation about the proposed cuts and people have until 26th January to make their views known.
You can take part in the consultation by following this link
Click here to have your say
We are concerned that in the homelessness section they have identified a need for a Young Person’s Homeless Prevention Service but they have not included a Homeless Prevention Service for people over 25 – instead they have just included help for entrenched rough sleepers and for new rough sleepers. We are very concerned that this could leave people who are at risk of homelessness or threatened with homelessness or who are staying in B+Bs or sofa surfing with no help to keep their accommodation or move to better/permanent accommodation.
In the last 6 months the Booth Centre’s Homeless Prevention Advice Service dealt with 2,557 advice enquiries from 556 individuals who were homeless or at risk of homelessness. Our 4 advice rooms are in constant use from 9am every morning. A quarter of these enquiries related to benefit problems and over 10% related to helping people manage their bills and debts which can lead to homelessness if they aren’t resolved. The outcomes for this service in the last 6 months include; getting 104 people into better accommodation; helping 79 people to return to family or friends outside Manchester; getting replacement identification for 124 people, which people need to claim benefits and move into accommodation; helping 24 people to register with a GP and 33 to access other health services such as drugs, alcohol or mental health support.
This work is currently funded through the Homeless Prevention Grant and through a grant from AGMA which is also due to end in March. Without this funding it will be very difficult for the Booth Centre to operate as an advice hub for homeless people or those at risk of homelessness where they can access advice around housing, benefits, health and legal issues.
There is no question on the form about the need for a homeless prevention service for people over 25, so if you think this is a service that is needed, please can you include a comment to this effect in the box provided.
And please add your voice to the many people who are saying that if at all possible the council should not be making cuts to homelessness services and that this is a false saving as it will just lead to more costs to the public purse in terms of additional health and criminal justice costs in the long run.
Thank you for your support.