Where Mayor Andy Burnham and the combined authorities of Greater Manchester lead today, we can follow. Greater Manchester is doing such a lot to tackle rough sleeping and homelessness.
On a recent action research visit Labour councillors from Northampton counted just 3 rough sleepers. We visited a project that supports rough sleepers by getting them accommodation and a job. We visited a homeless shelter for 30 people. We visited some emergency pods with dog pods. We visited day centres where all the much needed advice and supported was located in a user friendly environment. GM has a Bed every Night and a Homes First policy.
It is working. They have levered in Government grants and have developed a Social Impact Bond project to resource their initiative. All the districts and Boroughs are working together and there is a commitment to build more social housing to meet local need. the findings of the Labour grpoup will go as a report to the Overview and Scrutiny group on homelesssness.
Chair of the group, Cllr. Russell says, "It is essential that we learn lessons from authorities that are ahead of us. This is an urgent problem that requires all of us, the Council, the volountary sector, local organisations and businesses to work together. We liked their policies which are people centred. Where there was an acceptance that changing peoples lives means being there when life is tough and acepting that there are setbacks as well as progress. We learnt a lot from our visit and will be passing that on the the Scrutiny group."