Manchester students collaborate in new campaign to combat homelessness

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PLANS for a new homelessness campaign in Manchester takes place next week, ahead of the mayoral election.

A city-wide meeting led by the Greater Manchester Housing Action (GMHA) will take place on Tuesday, March 21 in a bid to tackle the rising issue of homelessness in the area.

The event is to take place at Academy 3 on Oxford Road and will discuss integrating students of the University of Manchester into the group.

GMHA plan to assist the student’s union with organising two or three campaigns.

The session will begin with a short discussion panel of activists that work in Greater Manchester and young people who have experienced homelessness.

The team will then break into smaller groups to discuss and plan the direction the campaigning should take.

Ross Cathcart, coordinator at the Greater Manchester Housing Action, said: “There’s not enough money being put into the [homelessness]issue and the fundamental approach is wrong.

A St. Ann's Square homelessness camp being threatened with eviction in 2015. (Copyright: Matt Harrop, copyright free.)

A St. Ann’s Square homeless camp being threatened with eviction in 2015. (Copyright: Matt Harrop, copyright free.)

“You have people who are on the streets and can’t get into shelters because of complex issues such as addiction.

“The council should be ensuring people have a house to go back to first and then deal with the complex issues, which is something we’re pushing to see change in.”

The event will coincide with the university’s campaign week on Homelessness and offers students an opportunity to get involved with homelessness activism.

Greater Manchester Housing Action cites changes to the benefit system, the rise of “discriminatory landlords who issue ‘No DSS’ policies” as major factors for the housing crisis in Manchester.

The activist group hope the event will spark a shift in the Manchester City Council’s approach to homelessness.

Find out more about the Greater Manchester Housing Action here.

 

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