A further 15 beds are now available to rough sleepers in Wigan Borough over winter.
The beds are part of an initiative launched last week by Greater Manchester’s Mayor Andy Burnham to tackle homelessness across the region by offering ‘A Bed Every Night’ to rough sleepers.
The 15 additional beds will be at St George’s Church in Wigan and will be run by The Brick in partnership with the council.
They are in addition to the overnight accommodation on offer at the borough’s two homeless hubs and will mean there are a minimum of 45 bed spaces available every night.
Andy Burnham launched the Bed Every Night scheme from the Leigh homeless hub last week saying he “couldn’t think of a better way to mark the start” of it after seeing the facility.
The Wigan hub is due to open shortly.
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.
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.
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 from The Brick added: “We are full of gratitude to the congregation and leadership of St George’s church for making the church available as a night shelter over the winter months and doing so at short notice.”
Find out more about the Bed Every Night initiative and how you can help to support rough sleepers: www.bedeverynight.co.uk