We have released a new report and policy briefing with the Boaz Trust about destitution in Greater Manchester. The report finds that people in the city-region are forced into destitution for years, sometimes decades, as a result of their immigration status. One woman interviewed spent 16 years in immigration limbo. 

The report, based on in-depth interviews with Greater Manchester residents, finds destitution is being used as a form of racialised violence, embedded in immigration law, which damages people’s physical and mental health, pushing some people towards self-harm and thoughts of suicide.  

The report highlights the inconsistent access to homelessness accommodation across Greater Manchester, leaving many either street homeless or sofa surfing between friends and acquaintances. It also highlights the multiple barriers that prevent people from escaping destitution, including the severe lack of legal advice, which means that individuals who could regularise their status remain trapped in destitution for years on end. 

As well as making a series of recommendations to national government, the report, building on positive developments in the city-region in recent years, lays out what can be done to design destitution out of our city-region.  

“If enforced destitution is a form of slow violence, we are all – statutory and voluntary sector bodies, as well as wider society – going to continue to be entangled in these webs of violence for the foreseeable future, whether we like it or not. And yet we have a choice as to what we do about it.”