An innovative hostel for homeless people will be officially opened on Tuesday 10 October, World Homeless Day.
The Stop, Start, Go Sustainable Living hostel in Cheetham Hill has been jointly funded by Manchester City Council, The Mayor of Greater Manchester’s Homelessness Fund and the Edward Holt Trust, a charity which originated in a 1950s endowment from a member of the Joseph Holt brewing family and has helped a number of homelessness projects across Greater Manchester with capital funds and other support costs.
The centre, which currently has 12 beds – a figure which will soon rise to 15 – provides medium-term accommodation to get people who are rough sleeping off the streets while they get their lives back on track, with support to get them in education, training or employment and find somewhere permanent to live.
Its work includes ensuring that people who are already in work but fall into homelessness have somewhere stable to stay and do not lose their jobs while they get back on their feet.
Rough sleepers are referred to Stop, Start, Go by the Booth Centre, which supports people who have lost their homes or are at risk of doing so, and will also continue to benefit from access to activities there.
Councillor Bernard Priest, Deputy Leader of Manchester City Council, said: “This hostel is an inspiring example of the partnership approach we are taking to addressing the challenge of homelessness in this city.
“We warmly welcome the support of the Mayor and the Edward Holt Trust which, together with the Council’s funding, have helped make this hostel a reality. It is only one part of a concerted approach to this issue but no less important for that and I’m confident it will change lives for the better by not just putting a roof over people’s heads but crucially also providing the wraparound support which will help them move forwards in their lives.”
Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham said: “The opening of the Stop, Start, Go Centre is a big step forward as we work to end rough sleeping in Greater Manchester. The people using the accommodation have themselves been the ones who helped shape how this new centre will work and I’m confident their approach will make a real difference. The Centre’s plans to offer tailored support for as long as people need it, is exactly the approach I want to see across Greater Manchester.
“The generosity that people have shown by donating to my homelessness fund has helped this centre to open its doors. We’re beginning to make a real difference together, but the work is just starting and we still need your help to support more excellent projects like this one. Any amount you can donate, no matter how small, will go straight to organisations who are helping rough sleepers and homeless people across Greater Manchester.”
Richard Kershaw, Chair of the Edward Holt Trust said: “We are pleased to be able to offer vital additional funding to this new hostel, as part of our commitment to the work of one of its partners, the Booth Centre. It is vital that people are helped to hold down jobs and make the difficult transition from homelessness to independent living.”
Hostel resident Mohammed Abdulkarim, aged 22, said: "Since coming to SSG, I have started college and sorted out my health. I am a new being and my future looks good now.
Fellow resident Lee Wright, aged 41, said: "Coming here has made a massive difference to me. I was on the streets for a year. Staff have been very helpful and helped me to feel better psychologically about myself. A new outlook has opened up for me and I feel happier about the future.”
The centre started receiving referrals at the end of August this year.