Labre House expansion plans

Liverpool City Council is to consider plans for a year-round shelter for rough sleepers

The number of people sleeping rough in Liverpool could reduce if plans for a council-backed shelter get the go-ahead.

Liverpool City Council wants its temporary shelter – Labre House, to remain open throughout the year to continue supporting rough sleepers with the issues they are facing.

Labre House opened last November as part of the range of support to rough sleepers.  It is part of Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson’s Always Room Inside campaign.

The centre on Camden Street provides food and a safe space for the night to all street sleepers, regardless of their background or circumstances. It also gives the council and its partners the chance to work with them to bring them indoors permanently.

Currently Labre House is allowed to open between November and March and earlier this year, the council successfully applied for temporary permission to keep the centre open.

Since then the council has submitted a planning application to make Labre House a permanent facility for rough sleepers for the next 15 months.

A report to the city council’s planning committee says Labre House complements existing council services that help rough sleepers into settled accommodation. It adds that Labre House also: “…provides another opportunity for intensive work with rough sleepers to bring them indoors permanently and reduce rough sleeping in the city overall.”

The report continues that ward councillors and council officers have spoken with local residents and businesses to explain the plans for Labre House.As part of the proposal the number of staff at the centre would be increased and they would be on site earlier to make sure people using the facility could get in quickly.

The report also says that street lighting and CCTV coverage around Labre House has been improved and that staff at the centre will work with the council to ensure that street cleaning and rubbish removal takes place. Anyone using Labre House is assessed to make sure they get the level of support they need.

The report explains that the premises would not operate solely as an overnight shelter but would also provide links to educational and health services.  It adds that Labre House would: “…provide a similar service to a day centre in that food would be provided and each rough sleeper would have their needs assessed while staying warm.”

Liverpool City Council Deputy Mayor and Cabinet Member for Housing, Cllr Lynnie Hinnigan, said: “When Labre House was opened over the winter it immediately became a lifeline for people in dire need of help. The council sent out the message that no-one needs to sleep on the streets in Liverpool and that there was room inside for anyone who wants it.”

“Solving this city’s rough sleeping problem is not just about providing people with a place to stay. It’s about giving them the support they need to find a route out of rough sleeping.

“We don’t just want to bring people off our streets, we want to help them transform their lives. The plans for Labre House are the next step in this process.”

Liverpool City Council’s Planning Committee will consider the application for Labre House at its meeting on Tuesday 19 June.

Liverpool Waterfront