Our group is trying to tackle homelessness & financial difficulties within the Manchester community & in some of the surrounding areas. Some of our homeless friends don’t speak to anyone all day until our outreach teams come with the food & supplies. This is really demoralising for some of them. Affecting their mental state, as they are made to “feel like outcasts”. More & more homeless are sadly back on the streets. We have at least doubled the hot meals from this time last year. We have also started handing out sandwiches & cakes, to help keep them going until the next night. We get donations from some big supermarkets, so we try to distribute those too, instead of them being wasted.
We aim to provide more essential supplies to our homeless friends, to make their time on the streets more bearable. We would like to be able to help get the extremely vulnerable into overnight accommodation, until they can be seen by the relevant authorities. This would be at a cost to us. At present we can’t afford to do that. Sleeping bags, blankets, toiletries, thermal hats, gloves, socks & underwear are in big demand & we simply don’t have enough funding to keep on top of it all. With the increase of meals, comes the increase in costs for the cutlery, cups, takeaway foils etc. We would like to be able to give all our cooks their own supplies of these, instead of them having to share.
Our outreach teams have been doing outreach for over two years now. We have a rapport & connection with a lot of our homeless friends. They see the cars with their magnets on & know who it is straight away. They trust us, as they have got to know us. They know that if we can help, we will help. Families are no longer embarrassed to ask us for food parcels, as we have become friends along the way & they know that we don’t want them to go without, especially the children. The teams know exactly where to find our homeless friends. They know which back streets & doorways, where they’ll be, as some don’t like to come over whilst there’s a lot of people about. Some are vulnerable & we respect that