LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND. Outreach team speak to rough sleepers and homeless people in Liverpool city centre. Picture: Jennifer Bruce/Liverpool City Council.
The number of people sleeping rough on the streets of Liverpool has remained broadly stable, new figures show.
Official, independently verified Government figures out this morning (27 Feb) show 17 people were sleeping on city centre streets on November 13, 2019 – the night of the annual rough sleeper count.
The count acts as a snapshot on one night and provides a comparison year-on-year, and shows a rise of two on the 15 found in 2018 and compares with 33 identified in 2017, meaning the city has broadly maintained its success in reducing numbers.
Liverpool City Council and its partners have launched a number of initiatives in the last few years, including the Always Room Inside campaign, to ensure that no-one in the city needs to sleep on the streets.
The council spends £11.3 million in total on preventing and tackling issues related to homeless and has 768 units of temporary accommodation available.
For people with complex needs and rough sleepers, there is a day hub provided by the Whitechapel Centre, while the council operates one of the few all-year round night shelters in the country, Labre House.
Together, they act 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.
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.
Figures from October 2019 show Labre House housed 268 people for at least one night during the course of the month, and the average number of people using the centre each night was 85. The outreach team encouraged 74 rough sleepers to come inside and accept help.
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: “This figure is just a snapshot but does show that we have broadly maintained the progress we have made in reducing the number of rough sleepers in the city centre over the last couple of years.
“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.
“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 continuing to have an impact.
“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.
“We have a range of services to support anyone who may be facing homelessness and help around 6,000 families a year. People can get in touch before it reaches the stage where they have nowhere to stay.
“Despite our finances being more stretched than ever there is no need for anyone to sleep on the streets of Liverpool and there is always help available.”
David Carter, chief executive of The Whitechapel Centre, which co-ordinates the outreach teams, said: “Our services are working around the clock to ensure we find the right accommodation and support for every homeless person.
“Even if a person isn’t ready to come indoors, we will continue to offer help and support daily and try to find a different solution or approach that will work for them.”