A secure home should be a right for everyone!
And yet this Winter many people in Greater Manchester are homeless.
Legal advice is a vital tool to help people out of homelessness. Many people who are forced to sleep on the streets become homeless because of unresolved legal problems (evictions by rogue landlords, unlawful benefit decisions, unmet care needs and being wrongly turned away when they seek homelessness assistance from the Council).
Advice to address these problems is often the only way to ensure the rights of homeless people to suitable and long term accommodation.
By themselves, cold weather beds and food parcels are not a solution but a sticking plaster, a much needed attempt to prevent further deaths of homeless people on our streets.
Until every person who is homeless, living in unfit housing conditions, or at risk of losing their homes can access free, high quality, face to face legal advice then there will be no access to justice and the shame of homelessness in the UK and Greater Manchester has little hope of improving.
Our many volunteers and staff care passionately for the rights of this community and you can help, as well as tick off a number of gifts off your Christmas shopping list.
A unique way to give… and to give again this Christmas!
Here is a unique way to think of your loved ones this Christmas and at the same time help us to provide the support people need.
Order TODAY a Gift Certificate
Surprise your loved ones, friends and family with a fully designed Gift Certificate.
But what about Secret Santa?
Yes, we know, you need a meaningful gift for under £5 for your colleagues.
Two easy steps to order a gift for people you care for and support Free Access to Justice
Please note, the last date you can order a gift certificate is 20th December 2018.
1) Pay for your Gift Certificate
Decide on how much you want to give: £10, £20, £50, £100 or a Secret Santa gift.
If you are ordering more than one gift, add up the total amount and also use the payment option below.
Click on the image below, make your payment and then click on “Return to Greater Manchester Law Centre” for Step 2.
2) Let us know your details and the amount you have given
Fill in the form below. We will email you a PDF of your chosen certificate, which you can print out on your printer.
Alternatively, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your address, if you would like us to post a certificate to your address.
Angela is now looking forward to being settled in her new home before Christmas
Why our work matters to Angela and many more homeless men and women in Greater Manchester
Angela was forced to flee her home country and arrived in the UK in 2017 to claim asylum. She was provided with Asylum Support whilst the Home Office considered her case. She became homeless in April 2018 when she was granted Refugee Status and evicted from her asylum accommodation.
Angela had nowhere to go. She was pregnant, did not speak English and had no family in the UK. She travelled to Greater Manchester to be close to her only friend.With the help of her friend she went to the Council to ask for help with accommodation but was repeatedly and unlawfully turned away.
Her friend arranged for her to sleep on the sofa of a friend, but the accommodation and environment was both unsuitable and unsafe. Angela’s midwife was very concerned and she as well as a local voluntary agency both wrote letters to the Council asking for urgent assistance.
In August 2018 the Council eventually provided her with Bed and Breakfast accommodation. However, the accomodation was outside the Council area and far away from her friend and support network. Then, after just two weeks, she was evicted because the Council decided that she had no local connection to their area and asked Angela to return to the area where she had been granted Refugee Status.
Angela was not able to move, as she was very close to her due date and had been booked into a Manchester Hospital with a specialist midwife. A move at such late stages of her pregnancy would have been risky both for her and her baby and she did not want to give birth without the support of her friend.
A local voluntary agency contacted Greater Manchester Law Centre for urgent legal advice. We contacted the Council to challenge the local connection decision and to request that accommodation be provided pending the Council’s review decision. The Council still refused to provide accommodation.
Following an urgent application to the High Court, a Judge ordered the Council to accommodate Angela in their area, whilst they reconsidered her local connection decision.
As a result of this court order, Angela was able to give birth to her little girl with the support her specialist midwife and her friend. Following the birth and our further review submissions the Council subsequently overturned their local connection decision and have now accepted a duty to provide Angela and her baby with long term accommodation in the area.
Angela is now looking forward to being settled in her new home before Christmas.
Angela gave her permission to share this story. Her name and details have been changed.