People have been asking me for several years what can be done to help the homeless off our streets in Manchester and is the answer more money? My answer has never changed, it isn’t just about more money, in fact, we can dramatically reduce the issue in Manchester with no extra money if we just worked differently.
In January, I spent 4 weeks out on the streets speaking to homeless people about my decision to run for election in the city centre on 3rd May. I wanted to know what they would want me to do in their name, I thought I knew, I was wrong.
Everyone I spoke to had their opinion on services, agencies and why they were on the streets. The more I spoke to people, the more I noticed the same themes coming through in their frustration. In a nutshell, everything they mentioned could be categorised under ‘customer service’.
With this information I created my manifesto and will implement this if elected.
1 FIND ME SOONER – LET’S BE PROACTIVE: I will ensure a focus on new vulnerable people and preventing their downward spiral
2 TREAT ME LIKE A PERSON – LET’S TREAT PEOPLE WITH RESPECT: I will ensure all agencies and services are rated on customer service standards
3 HELP ME QUICKER – LET’S HELP IMMEDIATELY: I will ensure that services respond immediately when people ask for help
4 ALWAYS OFFER ME HELP – LET’S TRY AND THEN TRY AGAIN: I will ensure that vulnerable people are given as many chances as they need to change for the better
5 PUT ME FIRST – NOT YOUR AGENCY: I will ensure that all agencies focus on the best outcome for an individual and work together to achieve results
This doesn’t happen at the moment, is this too much to ask? Shouldn’t this be a basic ask of services, most of which we pay for through taxes.
If we started to treat homeless people as customers and judged organisations by their customer service, then we would start to create services that homeless people actually wanted and that worked, instead of what is easy, comfortable and convenient for organisations.
A simple strategy, a simple message; let’s improve what we do and stop looking for excuses.
Vote Nick Buckley on 3rd May in the city centre.
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