Homeless charity Lifeshare and Manchester City Council have teamed up to make it possible for the homeless people of Manchester to gain access to libraries.
The new scheme aims to give homeless people in Manchester a way of using the city’s books and computers.
Homeless people working with Lifeshare can now use a letter from them as their ID when signing up and use the charity as their address.
The scheme will cover all of Manchester’s 22 libraries and members will be able to use the internet, DVDs, e-books, and audio books.
Manchester City Council and Lifeshare launch library membership scheme for people who are homeless | Today’s news https://t.co/Y0f5phqJwi
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However, the scheme hasn’t met with great response from the homeless people of Manchester.
Daniel has been sleeping on the streets of Manchester for two years and he says he hasn’t seen much change in the help for the homeless in that time.
‘’I didn’t know about the scheme, I haven’t heard anything about it from anyone. It might benefit some people, but I don’t think it would benefit me, you can go to places like Victoria House and use their computers without any ID or a library card.’’
He discussed the fact that the Mayor of Manchester Andy Burnham was elected due to his desire to help homeless people get off the streets of Manchester, but he feels not enough has been done.
He said: ‘’When they say they are going to reduce the homelessness in Manchester and help us get accommodation and you don’t hear anything, everything stays the same.
‘’The scheme they did with the Big Issue, to get homeless people working to earn some money was more beneficial, but even that is giving us money to buy more drugs.’’
He expressed that more needs to be done to help homeless people with drug abuse.
Spice is leaving a trail of human misery – we must act now https://t.co/mcx9sUUhzC
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He continued: ‘’More work with drug services coming around and helping us, the main thing about homeless people in Manchester is that they don’t have a lot of motivation.
‘’So, unless people come to us and say listen we are going to help you, they aren’t going to get off their backsides and go and get a library card, it’s not going to give us the help we need.’’
Spice has become one of the most commonly used drug throughout Manchester and the UK’s homeless community. Spice is made from a group of substances known as synthetic cannabinoids and has similar effects to cannabis.
The highly addictive class B psychoactive substance has been illegal since December.
Manchester City Council has already invested an extra £1.5million in the past year for extra homelessness services, including extra beds, food, showers, and support.
With the response of the homeless community they don’t feel like the services for the homeless people of Manchester has improved.
He added: ‘’Especially this time of year it’s cold and it’s horrible, seeing big empty buildings around Manchester, why can’t the council do something to open them up for over Christmas or something, so we can go somewhere sheltered.’’
There are nearly 1,000 temporary bed spaces for people who find themselves sleeping rough directly provided by or paid for by the council, but this is only a temporary rather than a permanent solution to a massive problem.
The scheme is said be extended to other charities working with homeless people in the future, the amount of help this will provide them is still to be questioned.