Manchester Fire Stations Opening Doors To Homeless People As Temperatures Drop
If you haven't noticed how cold it's been recently then either you're on holiday or you don't have any nerves in your body, because it's been bloody freezing.
So imagine for a second what that's like if you don't have a home to warm up in, if you have to sleep on the streets. That's the case for 300,000 people in Britain, and with temperatures set to drop to -5C this weekend, it's going to be even tougher.
That's why fire stations in Manchester, which is meant to get the brunt of the cold weather, are opening their doors to homeless people this weekend.
As the Manchester Evening News reports, Manchester Central and Ashton fire stations have converted common areas into temporary shelters and living spaces - which will be run by care workers - to help house rough sleepers in the dangerously cold weather over the weekend.
The move comes as Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham called on community leaders, including police and housing officials, to take 'immediate' action over the impending cold weather crisis.
"For a number of years now GMFRS has been championing all of its fire stations as community assets and opening its doors to members of the public so it is a natural step for the service to support the ongoing homelessness work in the city," Burnham told the paper.
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"The community rooms that are being used as part of this initiative are heated and have hot and cold water and toilet facilities.
"The rooms are separate from the operational areas of the stations and the initiative is supported by partners who will be at the station to facilitate people using the building, which allows firefighters to continue to do their jobs and respond to incidents in the usual way."
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The initiative is part of a wider attempt to confront homelessness in Manchester over the Christmas period, which has included calls to use empty rooms on university campuses to house homeless people while students are away for the Christmas break.
Shelter's figure of 300,000 homeless people is equivalent to a city the size of Newcastle, which is kind of shocking.
"This is a clear example of all agencies in Greater Manchester pulling together to help support some of the most vulnerable people in our city region," said Mr Burnham.
"Whilst most of us are enjoying the festive season, for those who have no choice but to sleep on the streets it is a lonely, dangerous, and potentially life-threatening time."
Featured Image Credit: PA
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