The Manchester Homelessness Charter, developed by groups working alongside people affected by homelessness, with their voices at its core, is the city’s new approach to tackling homelessness.
The creation of the Charter has been led by Mustard Tree and has involved extensive consultation with numerous people who have personally experienced homelessness, as well as dozens of other organisations working in the homelessness sector across the city
It outlines the principles that establish how people experiencing homelessness should be treated and how the city intends to deal with the problem. It calls for action from those who agree to adopt the charter values to make a pledge to demonstrate their support. All pledges will be expected to involve making a commitment to doing something new to tackle homelessness in the city.
The Street Support Network provides more information about various charities and services supporting people who are homeless in Manchester and how individuals and businesses can get involved.
The Big Change asks the public to donate to a fund via Just Giving, rather than giving directly to homeless people on the street. The campaign enables various local organisations, including Mustard Tree, to give homeless people engaged with their services quick access to the goods and practical support that will help them move on from homelessness.
The funding can be spent on anything that helps a homeless person to move on from street homelessness. All funding (apart from a small administrative charge) will be spent directly on homeless people, for example covering transport costs, a suit for interview, basic furniture needs or even the cost of a deposit on a flat.
The Big Change campaign brings together a number of small grassroots organisations which are working directly on the street with homeless people in Manchester, as well as some of the more established homelessness charities such as Mustard Tree, the Booth Centre, Barnabas and Shelter.
All of these organisations believe that homeless people need empathy and respect, and that they should be empowered by this funding. None of the organisations involved are taking any of the donated funds for their own work. Payments over £100 will be decided by a panel, which includes representatives of both the small and larger homelessness organisations, as well as ex-rough sleepers now in long-term support. These panel decisions will be made within 48 hours.