Companies in Liverpool city centre’s commercial district are being encouraged to offer help to the growing number off homeless sleeping rough on the streets.
Businesses heard how to respond to homelessness in the city at a forum held by the Liverpool BID Company.
There is clear evidence that the average number of rough sleepers in Liverpool city centre has risen in recent years, along with the number of people begging.
As part of BID’s commitment to act as a voice for businesses in the area and to bring the public and private sector together, organisations gathered at the forum to find out how they can support rough sleepers and what work is already being done.
They heard from Alix Watson at Liverpool City Council and David Carter from the city’s homeless charity, The Whitechapel Centre about work taking place and how businesses can support it.
Advice offered from Liverpool City Council’s ‘No Second Night Out’ pledge included directing rough sleepers to the Whitechapel Centre, calling the NSNO number 0300 123 2041 or calling 999 if you think the rough sleeper has a serious health problem.
Businesses can also let staff know about the NSNO number and can help by displaying posters as well as supporting homeless charities.
BID members also heard how to get involved in the ‘Chang£?’ campaign which highlights the most effective way donations can make a difference to people on the streets.
They can also speak to one of the BID’s three ambassadors who all have a direct link to the Whitechapel Centre via an app used to track what’s happening on the city streets.
Other issues can be reported to the two BID police officers on patrol every day from 7am to 7pm.
Bill Addy, chief executive of the Liverpool BID Company, said: “It isn’t acceptable that people are living on the streets but sadly it is the world we live in.
“There is no one simple solution to solving the issue which is of course very complex, but the forum provided essential information to businesses as to how they can help.
“Dealing with homelessness is a collaborative effort and we’re working with the council, support organisations, businesses and residents to help change the lives of those sleeping on our city streets.”