New project looking to get homeless off the streets for good
DIANNE APEN-SADLER TAKES A LOOK AT AN INNOVATIVE NEW HOSTEL
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