Your donated items can help Manchester’s hidden homeless over winter

After the heat of the summer, we are certainly relieved about the turn in the weather! However, as it quickly turns colder, we start to think about those who are living hidden and homeless in Manchester, over 480 people to be exact (read our research here). We know that many residents of unsupported temporary accommodation (UTA) struggle over the winter months due to the cold, damp conditions they are living in with limited access to support. These people often don’t have access to heating, hot water or cooking facilities to make themselves a hot meal.

We spoke to people living in UTA in Manchester to find out how we can help to make winter more manageable for them, and we are hoping you can help us make this happen by donating various items needed for people experiencing hidden homelessness.

Keeping the cold out

The people we work with have asked for hot water bottles, kettles to boil water to fill them, thick single duvets/blankets or draft excluders. In UTA, people often do not have access to heating and it is draughty, making it difficult to keep warm, so this will make a huge difference to help them stay warm when the temperature drops.

Keeping the heat in

The people we work with have asked for changes of clothes to wear when their other clothes are wet and outdoor gear to keep them warm and dry (including thermal hats, jackets, waterproof trousers, coats, shoes, gloves, and umbrellas). This will help people stay warm, dry and healthy over winter, keeping out the cold and making sure they can get out and about to appointments, groups and see family and friends without getting cold and wet.

Warming up

We all know that one of the best things to warm you up after being in the cold is a hot meal, but this is something many people experiencing hidden homelessness don’t have access to. To help them keep warm and to make sure they get the sustenance they need over the winter months, they asked for slow cookers to cook hot meals.

Where to donate

We are ideally looking for new or nearly new items, especially with regards to clothing, but anything you can donate will be greatly appreciated by those experiencing hidden homelessness in Manchester.

If you can donate any of the items mentioned above, please drop them off between 9am and 5pm on Mondays or Wednesdays at the Justlife center in Openshaw (please note that if you try to drop off at different times we cannot guarantee the center will be open):

1479-1489 Ashton Old Road, Openshaw, Manchester, M11 1HH

If you are unable to donate, please keep us in mind and let your friends, family and colleagues know what we’re looking for – someone you know may be able to help those in need!

Local services

We also know how many fantastic services there are to help people during the winter months. When we were talking to the people we work with, they said that it would be great if they had access to free or reduced price washing and dryer facilities in Manchester, so they can keep their clothes clean and dry during the winter months. Many hidden homeless people living in UTA do not have access to washing or drying facilities and have limited funds to pay for this service regularly. If you know of any services which may be able to offer this, please get in touch.

Thank you so much for helping us improve the lives of people experiencing homelessness over the winter months! We will share stories of donations and how they have made a difference to people’s lives over the next few months.

If you have any questions or need more information, please contact rachel@justlife.org.uk or call 07715 231 206.