OUR Big Sleep Out for the Cornerstone Centre keeps on getting bigger as our local communities respond to the growing problem of homelessness in Manchester.
We have written before about the problem with homelessness within our city.
Manchester now has the largest homelessness population in the north west, and it is a number that continues to rise.
The Cornerstone Centre in Manchester is one of the ways in which we as a church are helping to tackle homelessness.
Two years ago Cornerstone was open six days a week during the daytime only.
Now the centre is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with the addition of the night shelter, as well as a growing education programme with English and maths classes each night of the week.
Last year saw Bishop John, and over 160 other people, take part in the Cornerstone Big Sleep Out to stand in solidarity with all those experiencing homelessness in Manchester.
That sleep out saw a record breaking £76k raised for the charity.
The Big Sleep Out is scheduled to take place again this weekend, and we are ambitious in hoping that a similar amount can be raised.
All the funds raised enable the charity to provide night provision and accommodation to those in need.
A total of 178 people have been accommodated since May 2017, with 70 having now moved into more permanent accommodation.
This year the Big Sleep Out will be run at the same time as the Youth Sleep Out, a special event allowing the young people of the Diocese of Salford to come together and take some action for a cause they care about.
The money raised by the Youth Sleep Out will be used to fund all of the homelessness projects run by Caritas.
Projects like The Red Door, which provides support through a drop-in service, alongside wellbeing activities for those experiencing homelessness in Bury.
At last year’s event, Bishop John said: “What is so appalling is that with all the prosperity in this country we have people living on the streets. We have lost a sense of proportion and justice even among our own family here.
“We have got to make a very strong statement about those who we deny dignity, those who sleep rough.
“This gathering here this evening is making a very strong gesture of witness on behalf of the homeless and destitute.”
CALL US ON 0161 829 3300 TO ADVERTISE IN BRITAIN’S BIGGEST FREE WEEKLY NEWSPAPER