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Six years ago Becky and I were volunteering for a group that went out five nights a week, feeding and clothing anyone that was sitting out on the streets. We’d serve food to the same people month after month and we soon realised that not all the people we were feeding were homeless.
We started attending meetings and listening to other organisations, charities and statuary services that are based in Manchester who had been supporting rough sleepers for many years. We realised that it wasn’t food that was needed, but more support to help people access the relevant services that can improve their situation, so we left the other group and started Reach Out to the Community in May 2016.
There is seven days a week indoor provision in Manchester, where people can get a hot meal, showers and access to support.
Three years on, ROC is now doing regular outreach with Manchester City Council’s rough sleepers team and CGL. We also have access to getting people into hostels and access to information about many individuals sleeping rough and who might be supporting them. Working along side other organisations ensures the best outcome for those we work with.
ROC supports the person and provides a wrap-around service that suits that individual.
I love what ROC and all the team has accomplished so far. Being able to help people move away from the streets is what we all should be aiming to do, and it’s only by working together that we can do this.
Why do I do it? Because homelessness is something personal to me. When Becky and I had our greengrocers business in Chorlton we were in the fortune position of being able to help.
Now I love seeing the people who have been really hard to engage with learning to trust us and going indoors.
Steph 💚