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News Report Page 2 of 17
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Rough sleeper services ready for winter

LIVERPOOL City Council's Outreach Teams are encouraging people sleeping rough on the City streets to come inside during the winter weather. The City Council funded workers are out in the City, speaking to people who are on the streets, assessing their needs and offering support. With temperatures falling to below freezing, the teams are urging anyone on the streets to come inside and take advantage of the services available.  This includes the use of the Labre House rough sleeper hub. During October 2019, outreach workers came into contact with 97 people sleeping rough in the City Centre across the course of the month. This was an increase of 3 on the previous month. By the end of the month, the team had encouraged 74 rough sleepers to come inside and accept help. Of these, 44 were supported into new accommodation or back to their accommodation, while a further 6 were directed to Labre House. Others returned to their families or found their own solution. David Carter, who is 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. The number of people using Labre House each night are high, as are the number of people sleeping rough, but we won't give up. 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."

Labre House, created by Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson, is open every day of the year and provides safety, warmth and food. It also acts as the 1st port of call to a range of services including:- medical help, financial advice and support with drug and alcohol issues. In October, 268 stayed at Labre House for at least 1 night. The average number of people using the Centre each night was 85. Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson said:- "As we enter the coldest time of the year, the council and its partners are making sure there is a place to stay for everyone who needs it. If anyone needs help, it's important that they know that they are not alone. 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. The Council's resources are more stretched than ever and we continue to look at the long term solutions for people who are sleeping rough by finding them permanent accommodation. There is no need for anyone to sleep on the streets of Liverpool and there is always help available."

City Council Outreach Workers are encouraging people off the Liverpool's streets.

The City Council and its partners also organised a mini count during October 2019 to determine how many people are sleeping rough in the City Centre on a given night. The team identified 24 people sleeping on the streets, with a further 5 people found sleeping in tents. Of the 24, 6 already had accommodation and are now being supported to return to it and a further 7 have been encouraged indoors. Each year, Liverpool City Council invests ₤11m in supporting people who are at risk of homelessness or rough sleeping. This is despite having to find savings of ₤57.6m between now and April 2021.  Anyone with concerns about someone facing homelessness or sleeping rough in Liverpool, call the Always Room Inside helpline:- 0300 123 2041.

The Rector of Liverpool, Canon Dr Crispin Pailing, who has been at the forefront of addressing rough sleeping in the City and instrumental in establishing the recent Homeless Business Charter, the said:- "We need to bring an end to rough sleeping in our City. Over the last few months we have been working with the voluntary, charitable and private sectors to look at how we can all support the Local Authorities in tackling homelessness. We all bear responsibility for the issue, from reporting rough sleeping when we see it, through to committing financial and practical support to help those who feel excluded from society."

Watch Liverpool Council's video about rough sleeper services, within the City Centre, by clicking on this link.

Mayor's foodbank appeal to help feed the hungry this Christmas

Kind-hearted scousers are being asked for their help to feed vulnerable families this Christmas.

THE Mayor's Hope Fund has launched an appeal for donations of tins, packets and UHT milk and juice to stock the shelves of foodbanks in the City. Liverpool City Council has set up food collection points in Lifestyles centres, libraries, and One Stop Shops, and Council staff are taking part in the appeal in offices across Liverpool. The food collected will help make up parcels for those in need over the holiday season.

Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, said:- "This City is renowned for its generosity of spirit and looking after our own and I know that people will get behind this foodbank appeal and donate what they can. There is no donation too big or too small, all contributions will go directly towards feeding some of our most vulnerable residents at a point of crisis. I'm proud of the Council's hardworking staff who are helping to drive this appeal because they care so much about the communities they serve."

The City's foodbanks have helped to feed over 15,000 people since April 2019, almost ½ of whom have been children. Low income is the biggest cause of individuals and families falling into food poverty. The Christmas period brings with it extra challenges for parents as children are unable to access free School Meals for 2 weeks.

Simon Huthwaite, Operations Manager at St Andrew's Community Network, said:- "Foodbanks in the north of the City are noticing a steady increase in the number of children we are providing meals for, with over 5,000 children being fed by us since April (2019). We know that Christmas is a real pinch point for parents and if we can help by taking away the pressure of finding food then we will. We are particularly grateful for the Mayor's continued support and thank all the staff at Liverpool City Council for helping to coordinate this appeal on our behalf."

2 previous Christmas foodbank appeals led by the Council have collected over 7 tonnes of food. It is hoped that this year's appeal will be the biggest yet, with donation boxes in more than 40 locations; from staff offices to public buildings including:- Central Library, the City Centre One Stop Shop, Park Road Adult Learning Centre and Tuebrook and West Derby Children's Centres. The appeal will run until Friday, 29 November 2019.

Nicola Hawkes, South Liverpool foodbank's coordinator, said:- "The Mayor's Hope Fund provides invaluable help to disadvantaged communities and, at Christmas, the need is sadly greater than ever. Without the support of Liverpool residents who make donations there would be many households going hungry this December."

All Council run Lifestyles Centres (10), libraries (9) and One Stop Shops (8) are taking part in the appeal. For a full list of all public buildings collecting donations visit Liverpool Express.

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