Manchester homeless call out council ‘one way ticket’ scandal

Following revelations that Manchester Council has spent £10,000 on one-way tickets to push rough sleepers out of the city, activists have been expressing their disdain for executives’ excuses that the measure is aimed at “reconnecting” people with relatives who can help.

In a statement, Manchester Activist Network (MAN), which has been heavily involved in homeless self-organising in the city explained the real way in which the system works:

Person becomes homeless. Person goes to local town hall. Person is told no housing available, all the money is in Manchester. Person goes to Manchester and asks for help. Person told they have no local connection, go back home. Person kicks off a bit. Person is offered a train ticket to stop them from staying in Manchester long enough to be considered as having a local connection (six months). Decision time. Go back to the place that’s already failed you (and has a waiting least of two years+) or stay and take a chance in a city where at least the public care even if the council doesn’t.

Either way there’s no ‘reconnecting’ going on, if it were they would be following up each case and ensuring that the relevant services in the persons home town were ready for them. They don’t. They pay for a ticket and that’s the end of it.

If there’s one thing Manchester City Council does know how to do properly it’s waste money, they’re experts at it in fact. But whose money are they wasting? Yours. Ours. We must demand better.

The gulf between the promises of Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham and the policies of the city council have been growing ever more stark in recent weeks, following a spate of evictions of self-organised homeless groups, including of MAN actvists, sometimes within days of new policies being announced that will supposedly “end rough sleeping by 2020.”