Manchester homelessness charities alarmed by rising numbers of people seeking help in cost of living crisis

Spiralling fuel prices and energy bills are putting people at risk of being unable to pay to keep a roof over their heads, being evicted and ending up on the streets, organisations working with rough sleepers in the city say.

Manchester homelessness charities have spoken out about their alarm at the rising numbers of people they are seeing coming to them for help.

The cost of living crisis is putting more and more people at risk of ending up on the streets as fuel prices spiral and energy bills soar, the organisations say.

They are also predicting the problem is going to get much worse throughout the rest of 2022 and they are facing the remaining months of the year with some trepidation.

What rise in demand have charities seen?

Risha Lancaster, director and co-founder of Coffee4Craig which offers a drop-in at its base on Great Ducie Street seven days a week, said: “The numbers are shooting up. We are bracing ourselves. The other night we had 10 new people presenting.

“More and more people are sleeping in their cars and we saw one person who’s starting a new job but is in a hotel. People can’t find affordable housing and are really struggling. Private rental prices are going up with the knock-on effect of everything and people are being evicted.

“A lot of these people are working but not earning enough.”

Dave Evans from Two Brews said; “It’s not just people on the streets, it’s people in hostels not getting meals who are coming to us. They just get placed in a hostel and that’s it, it’s just a room and they’ve got to fend for themselves for food.

“A couple of weeks ago we were doing over 100 meals a night, when it’s usually around 60 to 70. The way things are with the economy we’re getting a lot of people struggling with the basics or who have got accommodation but can’t afford food.”

Mustard Tree said that on a Monday in early July it had the highest number of visitors ever to its food club, with 126 people coming through the doors in a single day.

It also said the cost of living crisis has driven a steady increase in visitors to its food club since December last year.

What do the charities think will happen next?

Risha is extremely pessimistic about what the rest of 2022 holds for those already on the breadline, while Dave said the recent move by the Government to boost the coffers of those on Universal Credit will not be anywhere near enough.

Risha said: ”Numbers are just going to rise and rise and rise. I think we’re heading for a massive crisis.

“Personally I’m not looking forward to the next couple of months, It looks like we’re going back to how it was when we first started, which is just horrible.

“Numbers are rising rapidly and it’s only going to be a matter of time before we’ve got a bigger crisis on our hands,especially with fuel prices which are just ridiculous.”

Dave said: “By the end of this year there will be a lot of people losing their jobs. They then can’t pay their rent, can’t pay their council tax and find themselves out on the streets.

“People on benefits have just been given £326 but that’s not going to last two minutes. Many of them will have spent that already paying off debts they already had.

“It’s a struggle for a lot of people at the moment.”

Manchester City Council has been approached for comment.