Temporary night hub opens to assess and assist rough sleepers
A temporary night assessment hub has opened to assist people found rough sleeping in Liverpool.
The overnight facility, which will operate 8pm to 7.30am everyday until 31st March, is the latest measure in the Council’s winter plan as part of its duties under the Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP).
The Council has worked with a number of partners to create a range of solutions, such as securing additional hotel rooms and ‘sit-up’ spaces across the city.
This is in addition to more than 60 units of dedicated ‘First Step from the Street’ accommodation being secured for rough sleepers during severe weather.
The hub, which is close to the city centre, has essential amenities and provides a safe space, with separate rooms for males and females, from which to assess people’s housing and support needs.
The staff delivering the service are highly skilled at dealing with the wide range of issues associated with homelessness.
People assessed as sleeping rough will be permitted to stay overnight (sit-up style provision) until accommodation, or another solution is sourced.
Access to the hub will be co-ordinated by the Rough Sleeper Outreach Team. Direct access will not be permitted, with the facility operating a limited capacity.
The hub may also not be suitable for everyone, for instance those with access to accommodation they can safely return to and risk will need to be considered on a case by case basis.
The Outreach Service and other agencies will continue working with these individuals to access alternative solutions.
Councillor Sarah Doyle, Cabinet member for Housing, said: “I’m pleased we’ve been able to work with the Whitechapel Centre to provide this assessment facility over the winter. As the number of people sleeping rough has risen, it became clear that we needed to assess them in a safe space.
“This is not a night shelter anyone can just walk into, it’s a dedicated resource focused on helping to identify the needs of an individual and getting them into accommodation, where required, and other services as quickly as possible.
“It’s not the only service we provide and will complement the other elements of our winter plan and other rough sleeping services, but I want to be clear – this won’t stop the problem of rough sleeping.
“Myself and the Council Leader are absolutely committed to highlighting the homelessness issues facing Liverpool to Government and we’ll continue to do so, as the measures needed to address this problem are deep rooted and cannot be solved by any one council or organisation.
“We have a long term plan to address homelessness, but we need support to achieve the progress everyone wants to see.”
Anyone with concerns about anyone sleeping rough should contact the Always Help Available helpline: 03001232041.