Centre to prevent homelessness opens its doors in Chorlton
A new prevention centre has opened today (Monday 15 January) to help people who have recently become homeless to turn their lives around.
The 38-bed Longford Centre in Chorlton, a former residential care home, has been transformed into a support centre to help move on to independent accommodation, employment, training and other opportunities.
Find out more about volunteering time and donating items or money to help people who are homeless move their lives forward at www.streetsupport.net
Staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week, the centre has been created to help single people and childless couples who are new to homelessness and have low-to-medium support needs. Community and business volunteers helped decorate the building and get it ready.
The Council-run centre is intended to supplement the range of existing accommodation and support services which are already available - around 50 different housing and accommodation options, each providing support to different groups of homeless people and meeting different needs.
A new night shelter for longer-term rough sleepers with the most complex needs opened last month in a church near the city centre.
The shelter - which is funded by us at the Council, run by Riverside and made possible by the Church of England Diocese of Manchester - has bed spaces for 20 people and will operate every night until March.
It is in addition to the existing year-round range of temporary and emergency accommodation and the winter cold weather provision, extra indoor spaces which are made available whenever the temperature drops to zero or below or particularly bad weather is forecast.
So far this winter, the cold weather provision has run on 15 nights and there has been enough space for everyone who wanted it.
Councillor Bernard Priest, Deputy Leader of Manchester City Council, said: "Whether it is getting early help to people on the edge of homelessness or providing shelter and intensive support to people who have been rough sleeping for some time, the Council and a wide range of partner organisations are working very hard to address the challenge posed by homelessness.
"Making sure people have a roof over their head is just the start - the key is providing wraparound support to help them build healthier, happier and more stable lives.
"People are being helped off the streets and forward in their lives, although this progress isn't always immediately visible because unfortunately other people are becoming homeless all the time. We need to keep chipping away together as well as demanding national action to reduce some of the causes of homelessness, such as the ongoing impact of welfare changes and austerity."