Changes are afoot for Justlife Manchester

The Justlife Manchester centre is pleased to announce that it is in receipt of additional funding from the Big Lottery Fund to further the work supporting hidden homeless households living in unsupported temporary accommodation (UTA) in Manchester.

Since 2009, Justlife has been working with residents of UTA in Openshaw, East Manchester, to ensure their stay is as short, safe and healthy as possible. Specifically, the last six years of this work has been made possible through previous Big Lottery Foundation funding with which we focused on building relationships, delivering crucial support services and developed learning about the challenges facing residents of UTA. Over the course of the past six years we have uncovered a bleak reality for hidden homeless households with no other option but to end up in UTA. Residents are likely to move into this accommodation for an unknown and unspecified amount of time; forced to live in substandard accommodation that results in a decline of their mental and physical health, for some this ultimately leads to premature death. This new grant will allow Justlife to expand their services to Ardwick, another area with long established UTA that are equally notorious in Manchester. Our initial research of the area has captured a similar reality to that in East Manchester, suggesting accommodation filled with hidden homeless households facing severe and multiple disadvantage but receiving limited support to address their complex needs. We are looking forward to the opportunity this funding has given us to expand both our centre-based support services and in-reach services in order to reach this hidden population of homeless households. The opportunity to work in other parts of Manchester will also increase our local knowledge of UTA in order to become better city-wide advocates for the hidden homeless forgotten in unsupported temporary accommodation.

This award from the Big Lottery Foundation is three-year funding, complimented by an additional grant from the Tudor Trust. Over the course of these three years we will be also begin operating out of Brunswick Parish Church in addition to our centre in Openshaw, and will therefore be better placed to support our new work with UTA in Ardwick. We are fortunate to use this space as it is already a centre making a valuable contribution to the local community with their own community support-focused activities. Justlife’s aim will be to not only support residents of UTA with their unique needs, but also connect them with their local community through the ongoing activities provided at Brunswick Parish Church.

We are especially grateful and encouraged by the ongoing support from the Big Lottery Foundation for our work with the hidden homeless. There is increasing focus on the more visible forms of homelessness – while those who are hidden are often still forgotten. So, a bit THANK YOU from all of us at Justlife to the BLF for their continued confidence and support of us as we work to make the stay of hidden homeless residents in UTA as short, safe and healthy as possible.