16 January 2020
A picture of Sanctuary Supported Living providing winter shelter for rough sleepers

Sanctuary Supported Living is working with the Mayor of Greater Manchester and the Greater Manchester Combined Authority to provide rough sleepers with immediate shelter.

The A Bed Every Night (ABEN) initiative, which offers support and accommodation to rough sleepers who cannot access other accommodation, has launched the Uplift programme of emergency winter shelter.

The initiative will see rough sleepers – who will be referred via Manchester City Council – able to access shelter any night when the weather is set to fall to freezing or below, with Sanctuary Supported Living’s Stanley Grove and Victoria House services providing bed spaces and support.

Stanley Grove was specially commissioned as part of the ABEN provision and launched in spring 2019. It caters for entrenched rough sleepers with complex needs, and supports up to 20 clients including couples, those with limited mobility and people with dogs. Vulnerable women also have separate access and facilities.

Homeless people who come to either of Sanctuary Supported Living’s services through the Uplift provision will be able to stay for three nights, and a trained medic will also be on hand to provide any necessary medical assistance.

Alongside the extra bed spaces at Stanley Grove and Victoria House, the Sanctuary Supported Living team work in partnership with Central Manchester Fire Station where up to 12 rough sleepers can be accommodated in the community room.

Stephanie Brooks, Sanctuary Supported Living’s area service manager for Manchester, said: “It has been well documented how far the authorities in Greater Manchester are going to combat homelessness in the region, and we are privileged to be playing a part of that.

“It is vital that we are able to offer some emergency winter shelter to the people most in need of it. So far we have been able to support dozens of local rough sleepers to find a bed for the night.

“Local staff members have been volunteering in their own time to cover night shifts at the fire station, and I am so proud of everyone’s commitment.”