Sam, who is homeless in Manchester has been rough sleeping since he was 16, he spent most of his childhood in different children’s homes and had never met his birth parents.
Growing up without his parents around and without the mother or father figure most of us have was difficult he told Pledge.
We asked him about friends and relationships, and sadly he says there are no friends to make or keep.
“When living on the streets, there are no friends to be made, and it’s hard to make any relationships. It’s a lonely place to be.”
Asked about the worst thing about being homeless, he says being tarnished with the same brush as other homeless, some that may have committed crimes.
“There’s a tendency for the public to think we’re all the same, and we’re not”, Sam says.
Thinking toward the near future, Sam tells us he’s not looking forward to Christmas, where he wanders the streets on Christmas day, unlike the rest of the Manchester wrapped up at home, he will be spending it the city centre, alone.
Sam, who says he welcomes support from charities and local services, doesn’t see his situation getting better on the street. His story isn’t unique, either, we come across more people like Sam every day in our walk around Manchester city centre.
Sam agreed to share his experiences to highlight the real stories of those living on the streets of Manchester. Pledge works with Sam regularly, and we actively direct him to local services to get the help he needs, and we also provide warm clothing to ensure he stays warm and dry.
Everyone wants to help people who are homeless but sometimes finding out how to help most effectively can be a daunting task. Before we give you our three ways to help, let’s take a look at the numbers and some definitions.
Homelessness: Shelter.org.uk defines homelessness as; ” Sleeping rough, not having rights to stay where you live or are living in unsuitable housing, such as a B&B, with friends or a hostel.”
Rough Sleeping: Shelter.org.uk defines rough sleeping as: “people sleeping or bedded down in the street, doorways, parks or bus shelters.”
Now for the stats, The North West of England saw the most significant percentage increase in rough sleeping since 2016. There was a 74% increase in rough sleepers. Combine that with those who are homeless, living in hostels etc., the number of people without a home is huge.
How can you help people who are homeless?
1) Contact your local council
Local councils are aware of their responsibility to help those who are homeless. You can alert your local authority of someone who is rough sleeping or homeless by calling the number on their website. This will mean their outreach teams can visit the person and signpost them to the right support available.
During the day, referrals into this accommodation can be made via:
The Council Rough Sleeper team – 0161 234 5339 or firstname.lastname@example.org
For over 25s: Booth Centre: http://boothcentre.org.uk
For under 25s: Centrepoint North: https://centrepoint.org.uk
When daytime services are closed you can refer through:
The Council Rough Sleeper – 0161 234 5001
2) Support a local charity
A quick and easy way to make a huge impact and help people who are homeless is by supporting a local charity. By donating time, money or fundraising, you can support the work of a charity which works directly with those who are homeless. Charities perform a vital job of engaging and helping those on the streets to get the support they need.
3) Spread the message
Get behind a local cause or organisation that is helping and shout about them. If your local council is doing a good job, shout about it on Twitter and Facebook. The more we talk about helping the homeless, the more we break down barriers. You can make a huge impact just by posting a tweet, publicly backing a charity.
When you decide on what help you want to give, ensure you choose a charity that works in conjunction with the local authority and other charities. Good charities understand the importance of working together to combat rough sleeping and homelessness, because only when we work together can we truly help each other.
A partnership between the coding school, Code Nation and charity Pledge will highlight common social issues in Greater Manchester that can be solved using technology.
Regular cohorts of Code Nation students will work with poverty reduction charity, Pledge to look at local social issues that could be rife for tech innovation.
Pledge, which is run by former tech CEO, Mylo Kaye has a mission to reduce poverty in Greater Manchester for those people who are experiencing homelessness, exploitation and unemployment. This partnership will see both Pledge and Code Nation work together to tackle important issues that many individuals and employers want to help with but don’t know how.
The first project, due to start in September will see the twelve-strong team of students work on a real-life brief with the charity, looking at how their skills of mobile and web development can create genuinely impactful tech solutions.
Due to be decided and unveiled by Code Nation students on October 30th, the project will be the first of its kind in Greater Manchester, merging the skills of a corporate and charity to create sustainable long-term social impact projects.
More information on the project will be shared via the Pledge blog over the coming months.
Who is Code Nation?
Code Nation is on a mission to prove that anyone (with the right attitude) can learn to code.
Total immersion over a 12-week period, providing in excess of 480 hours of training in both technical and life skills, takes candidates from zero to ‘work ready’, significantly faster than traditional learning environments.
You have to commit to the course and throw yourself in from day one. Our program has been designed to “up the pace” steadily throughout the curriculum as well as to keep you smiling and learning about life as a coder.
We look for curious minds and our interview process is designed to help you determine for yourself if a career in coding is for you.
For those living in poverty, there are bigger things to worry about than having to try and get a bank account from the big nationals, such as HSBC, Lloyds, Barclays and the Royal Bank of Scotland. With traditional banks, it’s often quite difficult to provide proof of address without a council tax statement or another bank account statement.
Just because you have no fixed address, should not mean that it is difficult to get a bank account.
Fortunately, there is one bank that is leading the way and is allowing those without an address to get a bank account & bank card. With Monzo, you can get a bank account and card, delivered to a charity, or shelter and all you have to do is verify your identity with a passport, driving licence (provisional or full) or a government-issued photo ID (from the UK or abroad).
How to get a bank account with no fixed address?
During the signup process, you’ll be asked for an address. If you don’t have a permanent address then you can use another address that you have access to such as:
- A friend’s address
- A local organisation that will let you use their address (like a church, shelter or charity)
- If you are not currently staying at your permanent address, then still enter your permanent address and you’ll then be able to get your card delivered to a different address.
Bank accounts are opened once your identity is confirmed, which is usually instantly and you can start receiving payments before your card arrives.
Getting a bank account with no fixed address is now no longer a problem.
Apply for a bank account without a fixed address here.
Lloyds Bank on Market Street in Manchester are one of the first branches in the U.K to offer bank accounts for those who are homeless in Manchester. Those interested are advised to contact Barnabus or the Booth Centre in the first instance.