At our April meeting on Zoom we had Angela McIntyre talk about her career working with the Homeless. It started thirty years ago when as part of an organised group, she would go once a week to help feed the homeless in Manchester with sandwiches etc. This led to doing voluntary work at Cornerstones in Salford; a day centre for the Homeless. Very soon after starting she was persuaded to apply for the post of Deputy and stayed working there for 25 years. People in need are given a welcome breakfast of tea and toast together with the option of showers and a set of clean clothes at the centre. Homelessness, she said, is getting worse, especially with a lack of social housing. She sees a lot of mental health and addiction problems.
During Covid-19 last year begging almost stopped on the streets of Manchester and the city managed to house homeless people in hotels that were not being used. Now there is a new initiative which Manchester’s Mayor Andy Burnham is helping to fund called “Bunkabin”. Containers that have been adapted to form 10 sleeping pods catering for 27 people every night. There is also a clothing shop run by Manchester city council where basic set of clothing is given free to homeless people. Their old clothes are then washed and given back to them in a bag or rucksack. They can also get their hair cut and sore feet sorted out.
She suggested that if any of our members wished to help then we should consider helping a local project – “A Room at the Inn” – in Warrington town centre. Angela said she would investigate how best to help coordinate donations.