Homelessness in Manchester
By Jack Colwell, Helen Heath and Tom Walton
Following World Homeless Day on 10 October, students and members of the public have expressed concern and outrage when asked about the increasing levels of homelessness around Manchester
According to the Trussell Trust, the average number of people using food banks have increased in the last eight years from 25,000 in 2008 to over 1 million in 2015-2016.
Northern Quota's Helen Heath, Jack Colwell and Tom Walton took to the streets of Manchester to find out what the public thinks about these shocking figures.
Former painter and decorator Robert, 59, of Gorton, who has personal experience of being homeless said: "The council are lazy. There is a lot more they could do to repair vacant properties, so that homeless people can move in."
The council are lazy
– Robert, 59
Now living in a one bedroom flat, he was forced to sleep rough after being evicted from his home after five years. "It is wrong how homeless people are treated, there are many vacant properties that could be done up," adding that there are plenty of volunteers who would be willing to help in making the housing habitable.
Matt, a 22-year-old student from Bury, said that the problem seems to have increased since 2010, after the Conservatives won the General Election and David Cameron became Prime Minister. "This ridiculous politics of austerity needs to be stopped," he said. "It is designed to punish the poor and make the rich richer. The Conservatives should be voted out."
According to statistics published by www.homeless.org.uk, people sleeping rough in the North West of England has increased by over 100% from 2010-2015.
Most of the people interviewed by NQ's reporters agreed that more could be done by the government and councils to increase available housing and help for those in need. Ellie, a 19 year old Law and Criminology student, said that we should "set up charities and initiatives to assist the homeless in finding employment and housing."
Arthur, a student from Fallowfield entering his fourth year at university, said: "There is a visible homeless population in both the city centre and Fallowfield that needs addressing through better initiatives to help get people off the streets and into shared living accommodation."
Sophie, a student living in the Northern Quarter, agreed that there is a significant problem and that "moving homeless people from one area to another is not fixing the problem. The government is demolishing blocks of flats to build pretty parks when those flats could be used for homeless people. Everyone deserves shelter."