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Help for the homeless
Friday 14th December, 2018

There is lots of help available for homeless people in Wigan Borough this Christmas.

There is currently overnight accommodation available to rough sleepers in Wigan and Leigh and people are being encouraged to report any rough sleepers so they can be offered this support.

When accessing emergency accommodation in the borough rough sleepers don’t just get a bed for the night but are given a hot meal and access to a whole range of support services to help them rebuild their lives and prevent them rough sleeping in the future.

The #BedEveryNight scheme was launched by the Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham earlier this year.

And residents who want to do their bit to help the homeless are being encouraged to join the Real Change campaign and donate to help buy essential items for people in need.

It launched in October and in the first six weeks alone has helped to end homelessness for 11 people.

The campaign is asking people to ‘use your small change to make a Real Change’ to people who are homeless. All donations go into one big pot so they can buy bigger items to have a bigger impact.

By going through partner charities like The Brick or Jigsaw Housing, people can also be confident their donation is going toward things that count for people who have long term support and can make the most of it.

This is all part of Wigan Council’s approach to work more closely with the voluntary and private sector to invest in homelessness prevention services and keep people off the streets. In the last year alone 5,000 cases of homelessness have been prevented.

The council’s homelessness champion programme is also running which sees see trained volunteers checking in with people on the streets on a daily basis to gain understanding surrounding people’s circumstances and to offer appropriate support.

Councillor Terry Halliwell, cabinet member for welfare and reform, said: “Tackling homelessness is more than just offering a bed for the night. It’s about supporting people from the moment they walk through the door, understanding their circumstances and helping them to rebuild their lives.

“By supporting them in this way we can prevent them reaching crisis point in the future. This work is even more important as we go into winter.

“We have made significant investments to help support homeless services and will continue to work with providers to deliver a cohesive approach so services can work together to better understand people’s needs.

“We are delighted to be working with partners such as The Brick to deliver these brilliant initiatives and to help people get their lives back on track.”

Louise Green, Operations Director at The Brick, said: "The Brick delivers homeless provision in both Wigan and Leigh and we value our partners who enable us to reach as many people as possible.

"This is the first year we have been able to provide so many bed spaces, thanks to the support from Wigan Council, and together we want to ensure that there are viable options for those who find themselves homeless.

"The Brick's new live web chat service launches on Monday 17th December. We hope that by using this service more people will be able to let us know where rough sleepers are so that we can target our outreach teams to these areas and help people across the borough to start to rebuild their lives."

If you see a homeless person on the streets, please email roughsleep@wigan.gov.uk with as much information as possible (including their location) and our officers will investigate. You will also receive an update on the situation.

Those who find themselves on the streets can also ring our out of hours service on: 01942 828777

To donate to Real Change Wigan & Leigh visit the website at www.realchangewiganandleigh.co.uk.

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