"Everyone should have a safe and secure home and be treated with dignity,"
The words of Prince William as he launches his "Homewards" initiative...
Today sees the launch of "Homewards" a major five-year campaign to end homelessness, which the Prince of Wales says should not exist in a "modern and progressive society".
The Prince of Wales's charitable foundation is putting in £3m of start-up funding to help make homelessness "rare, brief and unrepeated". Six locations across the UK will be used to test ideas to cut homelessness.
Prince William has a deep personal commitment to the issue which he has linked to the influence of his mother, Princess Diana, who took him to homelessness charities as a child. Inspiration for the project has been drawn from Finland, which is seen as a model for reducing homelessness to very low levels.
Prior to the Covid-19 lock down Manchester City Mission ran the Narrowgate Shelter at the Windsor Christian Centre in Salford. Our passion for the homeless has not been diminished by the enforced closure of the Narrowgate due to Government lockdown policy. We have grown alternative projects meeting people at their point of need.
Operation Joy, a project working with the street population in Manchester, Bolton, Tameside and Oldham, through engagement on the streets and weekly Drop-In centres.
Narrowgate Next Stage Housing, continuing the work that had started with the shelter residents to make the next steps in their journey to their own stable accommodation.
Narrowgate Support Hub, maintaining support for those in need at the Windsor Christian Centre.
On the Wing, chaplaincy support to local prisons and the airport. Aiming to support prisoners as they serve their sentence and prior to release so they don't fall into homelessness, and providing support to those who are met at the airport.
Our Nourish project, addressing food poverty through Food Clubs, seeks to help those on the edges of society avoid the perils of homelessness by providing a dignified way to provide for their families.
The past three years since the closure of the Narrowgate Nightshelter has not seen the problem go away, colleagues are regularly taking phone calls from those in crisis facing no option than rough sleeping. We wish this initiative well and pray for its impact on our nation.
If you want to make a difference in the lives of those in need in Greater Manchester take a look at our website