Although homelessness can affect people all year round, the hardships associated with it are most keenly felt at Christmas.
Supporting people’s emotional wellbeing is just as important as their physical wellbeing for Manchester City Council staff, and members of the Manchester Homelessness Partnership.
Therefore a Christmas party was held for families living in temporary accommodation during the festive period.
Last week people staying at two of Manchester’s homelessness centres came together for a festive buffet, music, dancing, face painting and games.
Holding a Christmas party may seem a small act, but it can make the world of difference for families and young children spending December in an unfamiliar environment.
The two centres whose residents attended the party provide a safe haven for women and families escaping domestic violence.
One mum at the party said: “I’ve not seen the kids laughing and giggling as much as they did in a long time. It was so nice to see them laughing.”
Another added: “I don’t usually enjoy Christmas but this party has made me enjoy the season again.”
Sheila Horgan, centre manager, said: “We try to make things as normal as possible. Children can be moved away from their schools and friends, but here all children can attend the party.
“Getting positive comments and feedback from everyone makes it all so worthwhile.”
Councillor Sue Murphy, Deputy Leader of Manchester City Council, said: “It is heart-warming to see the hard work and care which goes into making Christmas special for families going through incredibly hardship.
“At these two centres in particular there is a strong emphasis on education both for parents and children. By getting residents back to school and further education we hope to get them into work, into secure accommodation, and ensure they never have to spend Christmas away from home again.”