March 1, 2017
MASH action on homelessness
After years of declining trends, 2010 marked a turning point when all forms of homelessness began to rise. The recession and benefit reforms have impacted many vulnerable people in Manchester.
For the last 26 years MASH has provided free support to women in sex work (prostitution), empowering them to take control of their lives.
Sadly, homelessness has now become one of the biggest issues for most street sex workers we support.
There are few places for women to turn
Many of the women we see have experienced physical and sexual abuse which can make other services, which are male dominated, not appropriate.
Our experience tells us that whilst many women have periods of rough sleeping they are more likely to sofa surf, stay with punters or remain in abusive relationships than live on the streets. We’ve found that the focus of services for people who are rough sleeping, rather than homeless, can mean the housing needs of some vulnerable women are overlooked.
What are MASH doing?
Since late 2015 we have had a specialist Homelessness Worker at MASH to advocate for homeless women and offer 1-on-1 support to women with no-where else to turn.
Her work is making real, and lasting impact; In the last 6 months the partnerships she has developed have led to 14 entrenched rough sleeping women being found suitable accommodation.
She has also provided advice and help to over 50 other women through Street Outreach and at sessions at the MASH Drop-In Centre.
MASH is dedicated to ensuring that homeless women have a voice and we are an active part of the Manchester Homelessness Charter and are working with Women’s Direct Access to develop homelessness services.
What can I do to help?
Join the Campaign to push housing to the top of the political agenda ahead of the mayoral election on Thursday 4th May
Donate to charity – Street giving doesn’t help people long-term. Even if the person receiving the money has a real need, the benefit is short-term. Donating to MASH means that we can pool your donations to help women sleeping rough into housing, rather than just help them to survive on the streets.
Join Manchester business leaders at CEO Sleepout fighting homelessness and poverty by spending a night sleeping outdoors and raising funds for local charities including MASH.