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Letter from... Manchester


By Joshua Bell, Senior Consultant

Manchester is slowly reopening and as the city looks forward, it is worth acknowledging the good that has come from almost three months of lockdown. 

In terms of the practical changes, almost every city centre road has been re-laid, areas of the city pedestrianised for good and the demand for green spaces has gained many more voices. 

On homelessness, a long-standing issue in the city, the news from leading charities in the wider area has been largely positive. Across Greater Manchester the ‘Everybody In’ campaign has been active, and over ten weeks of lockdown 1,700 people have been accommodated in hotels. Over 600 people remain in safe accommodation across Greater Manchester and they continue to be supported by the incredible efforts of charities across the area.  

The fear for many homeless charities was that at the start of this pandemic Covid-19 would sweep through the rough sleeping community, however, thankfully, this does not seem to have been the case. As far as homeless charities in Manchester are aware, there have been no COVID-19 related deaths amongst the 1,700 people in this community. 

Manchester is returning to a new normal slowly and safely, and it is hoped that the lessons learnt are not forgotten. The lockdown has shown how best the homeless community in particular can be protected and supported, and this must be not be forgotten as we move forward as a city.