RAG are hosting a ‘Sleepout’ to help the homeless this Friday

This is a problem in our community that we can no longer ignore


After their information event on the 14th, there has been a huge response to the RAG homelessness campaign. The rest of us can no longer ignore this problem.

There has been a staggering 900% increase in the number of people sleeping rough in Manchester between the years 2010 and 2015. With around 70 people sleeping on the streets every night, Manchester is home to the highest rate of rough sleepers in the North West.

Before we can understand this problem, we must step back from the statistics and ask: “why are people homeless?”

There are two common misconceptions:

  1. that homelessness is the fault of the individual; and
  2. that it is often the result of drug or alcohol abuse.

To the contrary, homelessness is often the unfortunate result of a culmination of both personal factors as well as wider structural issues. Personal causes may include a lack of qualifications, unaffordable debts or rent, relationship breakdown, abuse in childhood or a background in the armed forces, whilst structural causes are the result of wider societal problems and may include a lack of affordable housing, the structure and administration of housing benefits or unemployment levels. With so many different elements underlying homelessness, it really could happen to anyone.

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Now that we understand the complex and diverse reasons for people becoming homeless in the first place, you may wish to ask “how can I help?”

There are a variety of excellent Manchester based charities, all of whom aim to help homeless people get back onto their feet; from help with housing, to enabling people to learn new skills or even by simply providing emotional support. These charities are always looking for people to get involved.

The RAG (Raise and Give) committee will be holding a “Sleepout” event on 21st October 2016 to raise funds for these wonderful charities and also to raise awareness about homelessness in Manchester. If you are interested in spending a night under the stars in order to support this important cause, you can find a link to the “Sleepout” event page here:

https://www.facebook.com/events/1118652208231182/

And just remember, these are ordinary people in unfortunate circumstances.