If you live in one of our developments outside of the City Centre the issues of homelessness will probably not affect you. But if you live in one of our apartment blocks inside Manchester city centre homelessness has become a much bigger problem over the last 12 months. We attended last week the Castlefield Forum meeting where Counsellor Joan Davies spoke about the issues of homelessness and what the council were doing to address them.
It’s a sad fact of life that as we go about our daily lives and jobs in the city you can’t help but notice homeless people or people begging in many places. Outside of the city if you saw someone homeless or begging you might be more intrigued to find out why but in the city because there are so many it’s almost an emotional fatigue causing us to walk by. For Revolution managing buildings the emotional fatigue continues as we’ve no real understanding of how to handle homeless people or their issues. Quite often the problems impact upon the buildings around them and these can be apartment blocks we manage. There’s always a concern on our part that also attempting to resolve a problem can backfire hideously, take the controversy this time last year when Selfridges installed studs to their window sills. It feels like everyone needs some guidance.
Councillor Davies explained that Manchester had seen a rapid rise in homelessness and begging partly due to the generosity of people in the city and news of that generosity spreading to a wider audience causing people to actually travel to the city to beg. She was very clear this wasn’t the sole reason and that many people had underlying issues on a vast spectrum.
She then went on to explain about “The Big Change” program in Manchester which is designed to help people who use the city, people who are homeless or begging and also businesses in the city which are being impacted upon. A group of Manchester Charities, organisations and voluntary sector agencies who provide services to the homeless have come together. The idea is to divert the funds people receive through begging into a more structures approach.
Last week was also a documentary on BBC three about homelessness in Manchester, whilst it will only be available on iPlayer until the middle of March 2016 it is presented by the rapper and song writer Professor Green. It takes a really honest and often sad look at the problem.
Have a look and see if you want to join “The Big Change”