Liverpool BID Company calls for a joined-up approach to end homelessness
Liverpool BID Company today calls on leaders and businesses from all sectors across the city region, for a unified approach in ending homelessness once and for all. Chief executive of the Liverpool BID Company, Bill Addy, issued the plea to partners to come together to end the crisis which now affects 320,000 people across Britain, a number that continues to rise year on year, according to the latest statistics.
Mr Addy encouraged the business community to sign up to the BID-funded and supported Street Support Liverpool – a network working online and offline, connecting and supporting local people and organisations to end homelessness, where people with personal insight into homelessness, decision makers and those with resources can come together in one forum to co-create effective solutions to the crisis.
Having proven successful in other cities such as Manchester, Leeds and Southampton, with hundreds of organisations and more than 1,000 volunteers actively involved, the hope is that Street Support Liverpool, which can be accessed via the website, becomes the city’s one-stop-shop to find out about homelessness, see what services are available, from food and accommodation to financial and employment support, and see what help you can give.
Street Support Liverpool can complement and supports a number of successful schemes already in place across the city region, including Liverpool City Council’s ‘Always Room Inside’ campaign and the Metro Mayor’s ‘Housing First’ scheme.
Bill Addy, chief executive, Liverpool BID Company, said:
“While Liverpool is ahead of the game compared to other cities around the country, we still need to do more. We have some great initiatives in place already, but now is the time for a more collaborative and coordinated approach between the public, private and third sectors in finding a long-lasting solution together. This is a challenge that affects us all on a daily basis. The BID and the 1,500 BID levy paying businesses that we represent are committed to ending homelessness and collectively we can achieve that.
“I encourage the business community to get behind and engage with Street Support Liverpool. While it is just one part of the solution, it is a fantastic platform where people can find and offer help all in one place.”
According to figures issued by Shelter last autumn, there is now a total of 214 people homeless in the Liverpool area (181 are stuck in temporary accommodation, including hostels and B&Bs, while 33 are rough sleeping). Of a population of 491,549 the figures rank Liverpool 235th on a national scale and 15th regionally. In comparison, Manchester City Council area reports a total 4,042 people homeless.
My Addy’s comments come as over 200 people from the private sector attended the ‘Homelessness and Rough Sleeping – Who Cares?’ event, held at Liverpool Parish Church (Our Lady and Saint Nicholas). Organised by Community Foundation for Merseyside (CFM), as part of its 20th anniversary, the event aimed to understand the severity and causes of the issue, attempt to establish a response and vision for the future, and invite the private sector to get involved in shaping this shared approach.
Alongside Bill Addy, key speeches came from the Metro Mayor of Liverpool City Region, Steve Rotheram; Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson; Peter Moore, CEO, LFC; Steven Connolly, estate director, Liverpool ONE; Jon Sparkes, CEO, Crisis; and Andy Cooke, chief constable of Merseyside Police, among other influential city region business leaders. The audience was also addressed by Karl Smith, a survivor of homelessness.
The event ended with the unveiling of the ‘Homeless Jesus’ statue in the gardens of the church. The installation is part of a commitment by the church to the issue of homelessness, and serves to challenge and provoke a discussion on the problem among visitors and the business community.
To find out more about the work Liverpool BID Company does on homelessness and other issues affecting the city centre, please visit www.liverpoolbidcompany.com