Rough sleeping is the most visible form of homelessness, but not all rough sleepers are homeless – some do have somewhere to stay, but choose to sleep on the streets to beg, or because they become attached to the lifestyle.
Conversely, there are homeless people we don’t see who are living in temporary accommodation – they have a roof over their heads but they are still homeless.
The city council is fiercely proud of how it tackles the problem – investing more than £20m a year to support people and families in crisis.
£1.5m alone is spent each year on trying to get people off our streets – money goes to the Whitechapel Centre and to Labre House which is one of the few night shelters which operates all year round. A further £3.2m is invested in the prevention of homelessness by helping people into hostels or into permanent accommodation.
But the city council needs support – both homelessness and rough sleeping in the city are on the rise.
Today, I’m chatting to two people involved in introducing a charter which encourages the city’s business sector to take some responsibility for the problem of homelessness – Rae Brooke who is the Chief Executive for the Community Foundation for Merseyside and Reverend Crispin Pailing who is the Rector of Liverpool.
I’ll also be talking to Karl Smith – the man who inspired this new business charter after he shared his experience of what like is really like when you’re trying to survive on the streets of Liverpool.