Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson insists that the council will continue its policy of removing homeless tents in a bid to help get more rough sleepers off the streets.
Since the start of the year, the council has been carrying out a programme to taking down the shelters to transfer people to safer and warmer conditions indoors at Labre House to protect them from freezing temperatures.
As part of the ‘Always Room Inside’ campaign, the council provides access to a bed for the night, clean clothes and a means to get back in touch with family, among other things.
Mayor Anderson told JMU Journalism: “Even one person sleeping on the streets is one too many, so while there has been a reduction we absolutely can’t be complacent.
“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. But anyone walking through the streets of the city centre will realise that there is still more work to do.”
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Labre House, which opened its doors to the homeless in December 2017, is believed to be the first local government venture of its kind, making an earnest effort to provide shelter to those who need it.
Working alongside support workers, volunteers and The Whitechapel Centre, the council-run shelter aims to provide not only practical aid to the homeless but holistic support as well with the opportunity to access practical advice and support to “get back on your feet”.
Ruth McCaughley, Fundraising Manager for the Whitechapel Centre, told JMU Journalism: “Since the Rough Sleeper Count in November we have had further successes with some of the most entrenched rough sleepers who were in tents around the city.
“Almost all have now accepted offers of accommodation and come indoors. This is just the start of their journey out of homelessness and ongoing support is essential to help them sustain their accommodation.”