LIVERPOOL City Council and The Whitechapel Centre prevented more than 160 people from sleeping on the streets in January.
The latest figures from the council-backed Urban Outreach Response Service, show that during one of the coldest months of the year, 163 people at risk of sleeping rough were supported by the team and spared from spending a night outdoors.
They were offered a range of support, including access to accommodation, help in returning to family or friends, access to health and support services and education and training opportunities.
In terms of those already sleeping rough, outreach workers saw 46 different people bedded down at various locations across the city in January. Of these, 20 were successfully encouraged to access the Labre House night hub, return to their existing accommodation and other solutions.
By the end of the month, the council and its partners had cut the number of rough sleepers to 26 – all of these were offered further support.
Figures collated over the past two years show that there is an average of 30 people sleeping rough in the city each month. Anyone who continues to sleep rough is offered ongoing help but, there will be a range of complex reasons why they may not accept support.
The Urban Outreach Response Service is provided by The Whitechapel Centre with funding from the council. It forms part of the council’s Always Room Inside campaign, which pledges that no-one in Liverpool needs to sleep on the streets.
In November, the council and its partners opened Labre House on Camden Street, as a night shelter. As well as offering sleeping space and hot food, the centre provides users with access to facilities such as phone and internet to inform family members they are safe. It is also seen as a route away from the streets into settled accommodation.
During January, the centre saw an increase in demand for places, rising from 43 at the beginning of the month to 70 at the end.
Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson said: “In Liverpool the vast majority of people who become homeless never spend a night sleeping rough. Each year we try and support 7,000 people into the right solution on the first day we come into contact with them. If this isn’t possible we can support people in Labre House.”
“Labre House is the only facility of its kind in the country that accepts everyone through the door, regardless of their background or circumstances. We have recently expanded the capacity of this venue to make sure we have enough room.”
There are a small number of people rough sleeping on our streets every night but these aren’t the same people each month. At the same time as helping people off our streets and into accommodation, we are working to break the cycle of new rough sleepers taking their place, using Labre House as a starting point.”
Mayor Anderson added: “One person sleeping on our streets is too many, but thanks to joint working between the council, its partners and the community we are helping more people off the streets and on the journey to turn their lives around than ever before.”
- If you have concerns about someone sleeping rough in Liverpool, you can call the Always Room Inside helpline on 0300 123 2014.