New project look­ing to get home­less off the streets for good

DIANNE APEN-SADLER TAKES A LOOK AT AN IN­NO­VA­TIVE NEW HOS­TEL

Manchester Evening News - - NEWS -

IT’S a uniquely Manch­ester so­lu­tion to one of the city’s big­gest is­sues – and it’s al­ready help­ing peo­ple turn their lives around.

Stop, Start, Go (SSG) at Kash­mir House in Cheetham Hill isn’t your av­er­age home­less hos­tel.

It isn’t about giv­ing peo­ple a bed for a few nights. It’s about keep­ing peo­ple off the streets and help­ing them take back con­trol of their lives.

Greater Manch­ester mayor Andy Burn­ham – who has vowed to end rough sleep­ing in the re­gion by 2020 – stopped by this week to for­mally open the fa­cil­ity. It has taken months of work to get the hos­tel up and run­ning and to make sure it’s a suc­cess.

The point is to get peo­ple off the streets for good, giv­ing them all the sup­port they need, for as long as they need. They are asked what would really help them; to truly change their lives.

SSG pro­vides medium-term ac­com­mo­da­tion and sup­port to get peo­ple into work or back into ed­u­ca­tion. Peo­ple are able to save money thanks to the low costs and get help with life skills.

The M.E.N. vis­ited the hos­tel to talk to the team and those al­ready us­ing the ser­vice.

It feels more like a home than a hos­tel, with peo­ple so­cial­is­ing ev­ery­where you look.

The cen­tre has been open since Au­gust. It cur­rently has 12 beds, but re­fur­bish­ments are tak­ing place to cre­ate a fur­ther three.

Man­ager Maria Marsden said: “I set the char­ity up to de­liver the ser­vice in a dif­fer­ent way. I just think there are some gaps and we feel that we’re go­ing a long way to fill that gap, par­tic­u­larly with the work­ing ele­ment.

“It’s like a fam­ily at­mos­phere and we try to cap­ture the mo­ment when they need help with an open door pol­icy. They can come in when­ever they need help as soon as it comes up, rather than wait­ing for an ap­point­ment.”

The fi­nal three rooms will be stu­dios for peo­ple who are in work or

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