A new short term accommodation service for homeless people who identify as LGBTQ+ has opened in Greater Manchester.
The project, which has been set up by Riverside Housing, is part of the mayor's A Bed Every Night Scheme. It's the first commissioned service of its kind and it's hoped the six flats will provide residents with a safe space where they can receive support away from discrimination.
One of the first people to move into the flats is 61-year-old Elaine. Speaking to Granada Reports, she said the scheme had given her a sense of belonging and was like winning the lottery.
Riverside Housing's services are designed to take the psychological and emotional needs of people into account. The Area Manager, Eleanor Watts, said: “We aredelighted to be opening this new homelessness service for people in the LGBTQ+community so they can feel safe and secure and without fear of discrimination, whilegiving them the freedom to be who they are.
“Many people identifying as LGBTQ+ can end up homeless due to a variety ofreasons such as losing their job or a family breakdown after coming out so they havelittle or no support from their relatives.
It can also be difficult for LGBTQ+ people to open up to others especially those in authority so this supported service will help break down these barriers. Our support workers focus on supporting the person’s needs to help them move on in life and live independently in their own home.
Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham said: “I am so proud to see A BedEvery Night evolve to respond to the range of needs of people sleeping rough inGreater Manchester.
“It is vital that we provide accommodation and support that best enables people toget off the streets. This dedicated service for LGBTQ+ people is another big steptowards making sure everyone receives the help, the safety, and the security thatcan really make a difference to their lives.”
A Bed Every Night was launched in Greater Manchester by Mayor Andy Burnham in 2018. Since then, it's helped more than 3,100 people into emergency accommodation.