Get involved

If you have lived experience of homelessness, or are involved with a project working to end homelessness in Greater Manchester, then we want you to be a part of the Network.

How you want to be involved is up to you:

  • Sign up to the Mailing List to hear about new events and activities
  • Attend the wider network events every three months. These usually take place in space donated by Salford University and will be advertised through the mailing list and on the News And Events page.
  • Let us know about good practice in ending homelessness that you are involved in, or a problem you’ve spotted that you don’t think is being addressed by contacting info@gmhan.net.
  • Volunteer to be part of the Advisory Board ‘Action Meetings’ focused on delivering this year’s key priorities, as outlined on the About page under ‘What are we working on right now?’
  • Volunteer to be the link person for your borough or field of work. See which areas we’re looking for representatives from on the About page under ‘Who is involved in the HAN?

Other ways to get involved

Not everyone can get involved in everything, and that’s fine. If you live, work or visit Greater Manchester and are concerned about rising homelessness around you, you may prefer to:

  1. Give money: find out more about the best ways you can donate to ending homelessness here
  2. Give time or items: go to key GMHAN member Street Support to see what volunteering opportunities or need for items there are in your area

Speak up!

Homelessness and shortage of housing supply are political issues, meaning we need a political response as well as the excellent work on the ground across Greater Manchester, to come close to ending homelessness. Everyone’s voice counts in raising these issues with decision makers. So what can you do and who can you speak to?

Various levels of government have responsibility for homelessness:

  • National Government oversees overall budget for local authorities, regulations around house building, housing benefits rates and policies on welfare, employment, the private rented sector and legal aid, changes to which can result in someone becoming threatened with homelessness.
  • Local Authorities have a legal ‘Duty of Care’ to “take reasonable steps to help prevent any eligible person (regardless of priority need status, intentionality and whether they have a local connection) who is threatened with homelessness from becoming homeless”. As of 2010, this does not include people with no recourse to public funds (people seeking asylum or those who came to the UK from outside of the European Economic Area). Local councils also have responsibility for local homelessness budgets, setting spending priorities for temporary housing, mental health support and outreach services as well as funding for local homelessness support charities.
  • Regional Government (in areas with Combined Authorities like Greater Manchester), have limited responsibility for homelessness, but their elected Mayors have taken a political responsibility for making sure the issues surrounding homelessness are focused on locally. For the first time, Combined Authorities have been given funds from Central Government to run programmes across their city regions, such as in GM for Housing First, Social Impact Bonds and night shelters helping people move off the streets into stable accommodation.

You can contact your elected representatives, across all levels of government, to ensure they are keeping housing and the issues surrounding homelessness at the top of their political agenda. You can use our ‘National Asks’ as a guide or just tell them how you feel about homelessness and your experiences of being unhoused in their area.

You can find your local Councillors and their contact details at: www.gov.uk/find-your-local-councillors

Your local MP’s details are available at: www.theyworkforyou.com

If you Iive in Greater Manchester you can contact the Greater Manchester Mayor at: the.mayor@greatermanchester-ca.gov.uk