Homelessness – advice for practitioners

Homelessness covers a wide range of circumstances from sleeping on the streets, to families living in bed and breakfast hotels, to those without a home of their own.

There is no single reason why someone can end up without a home. Personal circumstances and wider factors both play their part.

A wide definition of homelessness is adopted in the Homelessness Monitor and considers the impacts of relevant policy and economic changes on all of the following homeless groups:

Where to get help
Practitioners and the public can find local links and advice on the Manchester City Council website at manchester.gov.uk/homeless_people

If someone is at risk of becoming homeless, by acting quickly they may be able to get help to avoid it. The City Council can also help with general housing related advice or advice about privately rented homes.

There are other support and advice services that can help people to understand their options, these include:

There are also a number of advice services that can help with the things that might be causing your homelessness, or making your problem worse – you can get help if you are:

Manchester City Council and partners have produced some excellent booklets that give a step-by-step guide through housing options and provide information and advice to support individuals and families to stay in their home –

Manchester Homelessness Strategy

The Manchester Homelessness Strategy sets out the vision, aims and aspirations shared by Manchester City Council and its partner organisations who work to reduce homelessness in the city – the Strategy can be downloaded from the MCC website at  manchester.gov.uk/homelessness_strategy

Homelessness Thematic Learning Review 2019

The Partnership is currently conducting a Learning Review about homelessness. The review is looking at seven cases where the death of a homeless person has been a factor, in order to identify trends and shape/change the strategy for supporting homeless people.

This work is aligned with the Manchester Homelessness Strategy and other initiatives; and is also supported by the Manchester Community Strategy Partnership and the Greater Manchester Combined Authority.

The review aims to:

  • look at the range of existing provision, including statutory services, outreach work and organisations in order to gain a better overview of how systems work with these vulnerable adults and identify what actions agencies can take to seek to address those gaps.
  • identify a small number of key recommendations that will help agencies to see where the service offer needs to be in terms of those vulnerable to homelessness
  • explore what ‘good’ looks like, and what the enablers and barriers are to achieving it, and consider what works best when delivered by a single agency level and what works best when agencies are working together.

The initial findings can be found in the MSP Homelessness Review Summary (Nov 2019)

The Homelessness Reduction Act

The Homelessness Reduction Act came into force in April 2018 – there is also a Code of Guidance which provides advice and guidance on all the homeless legislation, as well as an overview of the different Acts governing homelessness.

The main changes in the  Act are listed below with links to the relevant sections of the Code of Guidance:

Homeless 16 & 17 year old young people

The protocol for the assessment of 16 & 17 year old young people who present as homeless and are in need of accommodation or accommodation related support is available in the greatermanchesterscb.proceduresonline.com

No single agency has sole responsibility for homeless 16 and 17 year old young people. Children’s Social Care and local Housing Authorities have statutory duties to these young people, and other statutory and voluntary agencies provide a range of services to them.

The purpose of the protocol is to ensure that partners continue to work together to provide a consistent and coordinated response to 16 and 17 year old young people (including teenage parents and pregnant teenagers) who present as homeless and are in need of accommodation or accommodation-related support.

It will also help to promote and safeguard the well-being of the young person and prevent homelessness, returning young people to their family wherever possible. If a return home is not possible, the objective is to find the most suitable accommodation for the young person and to help them to remain in that accommodation until they are ready, if appropriate, to move on to more suitable accommodation.

Further resources

Homeless Link are the national membership charity for organisations working directly with people who become homeless in England – they work to make services better and campaign for policy change that will help end homelessness.

Greater Together Manchester is a joint venture between the Diocese of Manchester and Church Urban Fund (CUF). Their overall aim is to have some kind of network of grass root, coordinated responses to poverty in every locality, designed to address the specific needs of each community, that can offer practical support, advice, signposting and compassion as well as adapt quickly and efficiently to changing contexts.

GM Mayor’s Homelessness Fund
The Greater Manchester Mayor’s Homelessness Fund will support front line projects which can demonstrate they are supporting the Mayor’s objective to end rough sleeping and reduce homelessness.

Street Support
Street Support is a network of organisations, voluntary groups and kind-hearted folk, working together to end homelessness. You can find support services for people experiencing homelessness, and DO something to help – offering your time, money and resources to local organisations.

Downloads available on this page:


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