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Shelter: a look at Manchester's homeless. Full film. from Mike Staniforth | Film on Vimeo.

Shelter; a look at Manchester's Homeless by Mike Staniforth

'Shelter is Mike Staniforth's debut film, it is a documentary featuring personal stories of homeless people taken on the streets of Manchester. Most of the footage has been shot during the day with some taken at night to reveal conditions that all too often, homeless people encounter, when trying to find a dry place to sleep.

Mike is an up and coming filmaker, he came to visit us in November 2013 after this film was made with the hope of producing a follow up film. Mike wrote this extract in his blog after making this film:

He told me where he was sleeping and he offered to take us there. As we approached the decrepid building, it was clear this was not going to be easy, the ground leading up to the building was uneven, bricks and rubbish everywhere. As you will see in the video, this building was a death trap, the walls were falling down, there were holes in the roof, you couldn’t see the floor because of all the rubbish and fallen debris. The stairs went up 4 stories and there was no bannister, in fact there was nothing to prevent you slipping and falling down the middle, it was a death trap.

Lukasz had found a small room in the corner at the very top of this building. Every night he came back here using his tiny flashlight which didn’t work very well and illuminated only a pin prick compared to the LED light I gave him. What he was doing was extremely dangerous. On the way to his little hideaway he showed us a big basin which had been positioned to capture rain drops falling through the huge holes in the roof. This was where he washed himself. The water was cold, stagment and had a layer of green scum on the top. It was then that the reality of this man's life started to hit me. We got to his ‘bedroom’ and he showed us how he wrapped himself up and slept. This was when he started to show his emotion, as bad as I felt for him, I had to keep the cameras rolling, I didn’t have to say anything, I just listened.

The night ended with Lukasz walking us back to where we met him, he sat down and continued what he was doing before, politely asking passers-by for spare change. I gave him all I had. I then went home to my warm bed and pondered how lucky I was to even have a roof over my head, I thought about Lukasz every day for a month after that night, I’ve not seen him since.

Published on Thursday 13th December 2012


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