Rochdale borough has one of the highest rates of homeless people in the North West
Date published: 20 December 2019
Rochdale borough has the fifth highest rate of homeless children in the North West
The Rochdale borough has one of the highest rates of homeless people in the North West, new figures from Shelter reveal.
Shelter’s extensive analysis of official rough-sleeping and temporary accommodation figures shows Rochdale comes close to topping the list, with some of the highest numbers of children and adults in the North West having no permanent home.
Rochdale has the fifth highest rate of homeless children in the North West, where one in every 467 children are homeless. As of March 2019, 101 children were classed as homeless and living in temporary accommodation.
When adults are taken into account, the borough of Rochdale places eighth, with 182 people being homeless - one in every 1,207 people.
In response to the local findings, Mark Widdup, director of neighbourhoods at Rochdale Borough Council, said: “We work hard with our partners all year round to tackle homelessness and have a number of services in place. It is a very complex problem and in some cases there is no easy solution.
“Recently, we introduced two new services, including a new outreach team who go directly onto the streets as part of a 24-hour response to get people into beds. As well as addressing immediate needs, the team build an ongoing relationship with the people they work with and help them navigate the system until they have more permanent accommodation and support.
“In addition to this, we’ve launched the Real Change Rochdale initiative which encourages members of the public to donate money online, which is then used to help with practical items for people on the streets, such as clothes for a job interview or a deposit for a flat. People can donate at:
“Anyone who sees a person on the streets they are worried about can phone our new outreach team on 0300 303 8548.”
In the North West, the overall homelessness figure for homelessness has reached 9,038, a massive 117% increase since 2016 when the charity first published its landmark annual report.
Additionally, Shelter’s Generation Homeless report reveals a child loses their home every eight minutes, the equivalent of 183 children per day, enough to fill 2.5 double decker buses.
For the first time, the charity’s review of government data, ‘This is England: a picture of homelessness in 2019’, has also exposed that close to 28,000 people in the North West were threatened with homelessness in the last year.
Despite being the most comprehensive overview of homelessness in the country, it’s widely acknowledged that a lot of homelessness goes undocumented, including sofa surfing and some rough sleeping.
The report also shines a light on the 5,683 homeless families with children currently living in emergency B&Bs and hostels – widely considered the worst type of accommodation.
Families are often squashed into one room with little space to cook, play or eat their meals; are forced to share bathrooms with strangers; and the accommodation is often located miles away from schools, jobs and loved ones.
In the last year, a call was made to Shelter’s emergency helpline every 44 seconds and its free webchat service was used almost 26,000 times.
John Ryan, Shelter Manchester hub manager, said: “Homelessness blights lives and leaves a lasting imprint of trauma, and yet more than 9,000 people in the North West are without a home this Christmas. And many are only days away from joining them.
“As well as those facing serious ill-health or even death sleeping rough on our streets this winter, there are too many families trapped in grotty emergency B&Bs, with no space for children to sit and eat, let alone play. This is the grim truth our new government must confront and do something radical to change.
“Until the government acts to stem this crisis, the work of our frontline advisers remains critical. With the public’s support we will do everything we can to help people find a safe and stable place to live – no matter how long it takes.”
Polly Neate, chief executive of Shelter, added: “The fact 183 children become homeless every day is a scandalous figure.
“Every child has the right to a safe home and if we act now, we can help get them to a better place. So, every donation will mean Shelter can be there for the children and families who need us this Christmas.”
The first Shelter ‘sleep walk’ in Manchester took place on Wednesday 11 December, a 10km walk to raise money to support the hundreds of thousands of families at risk of homelessness this Christmas.
This year’s Sleep Walk for Shelter united hundreds of Mancunians to brave the winter conditions and walk across the city at night - starting and finishing at Manchester Central - to take a stand against homelessness and raise much needed funds to fight the crisis.
Celebrities including Coronation Street star Sue Devaney and Manchester City legend Alex Williams MBE took part in the event alongside Rita Ora, Rio Ferdinand, Mel C, Nicola Roberts and Edith Bowman.
Speaking about the Sleep Walk, Sue Devaney said: “It’s amazing to see Manchester coming together tonight to show their support for those who are risk of homelessness this Christmas.
“Hundreds of thousands of people in the UK are now affected so it’s more important than ever for us to help charities like Shelter to continue doing their vital work.”
To donate to Shelter’s urgent Christmas appeal please visit www.shelter.org.uk or text SHELTER to 70030 to donate £3. Texts cost your standard network rate + £3.
Shelter receives 100% of your donation.
You can also donate to the Real Change Rochdale initiative which encourages members of the public to donate money online, which is then used to help with practical items for people on the streets, such as clothes for a job interview or a deposit for a flat. People can donate at realchangerochdale.co.uk.
Anyone who sees a person on the streets they are worried about can phone the council's new outreach team on 0300 303 8548.
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