Charity Lifeshare is searching for a central Manchester property of 5,000 sq ft, having been given notice at its existing Dantzic Street premises. From this base it provides support for homeless and vulnerable people in Manchester and Salford. It has until 30 September to move into a new building.
Mike Riddell of surveyor Riddell TPS is assisting Lifeshare in its search for ground floor space, within a mile of the existing base at the Charter Street Mission building close to NOMA.
He told Place North West: “There must be somewhere. The focus in Manchester has been too much on the skyline, and not enough on the breadline.
“The homelessness problem in Manchester can’t be ignored now – Lifeshare brought the issue with Spice to the fore a year ago, and they do so much valuable work. It would be good PR for somebody who has the ability to help Lifeshare out.”
On top of the social good, the charity would bring ratings mitigation, Riddell pointed out.
The Charter Street Mission building is owned by a trust, and having fallen into disrepair is scheduled for a two-year redevelopment project. Lifeshare and other tenants, which include a school and a drama group, were given notice to leave in January.
The charity ran its first outreach programme in 1985, and for more than 25 years has been serving free hot breakfasts for up to 125 people on weekend mornings. It has been running its young peoples’ services, initially backed by Comic Relief, since the early 2000s. Other projects include an open house Christmas project.
Lifeshare has seen its client base of vulnerable young people climb from 90 in March 2014 to 300 in March 2016, an increase of more than 200%.
Team leader Judy Vickers said: “We’ve been looking since January and it’s hard – everywhere’s so expensive. We’ve been downsizing in every way we can, sending surplus clothes to other charities.”