The number of people sleeping rough on the streets of Liverpool has fallen by more than half over the past year.
Official government figures out this morning (31 Jan) show that just 15 people were found to be sleeping on the streets in Liverpool City Centre on November 23, the night of the annual rough sleeper count. This compares with 33 people who were sleeping on the streets during the previous year’s count. That’s a drop of 53 percent.
All local authorities are required to do a head count or estimate of rough sleeping in their area by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) and the figures are independently verified.
The count takes place during the early hours of the morning and provides a snapshot of the number of people sleeping in shop doorways, benches and other locations around the city.
Over the past year, Liverpool City Council and its partners have launched a number of initiatives, and the Always Room Inside campaign, to ensure that no-one in the city needs to sleep on the streets.
Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson spearheaded the opening of Labre House, the only rough sleeper hub of its kind in the country to open every night of the year. It offers safe overnight space for anyone who needs it regardless of their background or circumstances.
Last year the city council invested £11m directly in supporting people at risk of homelessness and rough sleepers. The council funds 750 temporary accommodation bedspaces across the city for people and families who are homeless.
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The city council also funds a team of outreach workers who engage with those sleeping rough in the city on a daily basis to assess their needs and to encourage them to come inside and accept the range of support services available.
On a typical night, Labre House accommodates up 75 rough sleepers. The centre along with a day hub acts as a gateway to a range of council and partner agency services, including health and wellbeing support, housing services, money and debt advice and drugs and alcohol misuse services.
If you have concerns about someone sleeping rough in Liverpool, you can call the Always Room Inside helpline: 0300 123 2041.
Mayor Joe Anderson said: “We appreciate that the number of people sleeping rough can fluctuate from night to night and at different times of the year and this does not represent the full figure. However, what these figures do show is a direction of travel with a reduction in the number of rough sleepers in the city due to our significant investment in new facilities, outreach teams and services for drug and alcohol misuse.
“Liverpool does more than any other local authority in the country to support those who are in the most need and it is good to see that the services we have introduced are having an impact. However, today’s figures are no cause for complacency. Anyone walking through the streets of the city centre will realise that there is still more work to do.
“Rough sleeping is everyone’s issue and not something the city council can tackle in isolation. We have adopted a partnership approach which has seen some great work from a host of organisations, volunteer groups and residents of the city. Our plan is to continue to work to do all we can to support rough sleepers in Liverpool off the streets and help them to turn their lives around.”