Liverpool failing rough sleepers

A new report, commissioned by the Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, urges for a major public awareness campaign to debunk myths around homelessness.

The Routes Out of Rough Sleeping report states that a policy of ‘No Recourse to Public Funds’ has greatly contributed in the growth of rough sleeping in the past decade, leading the authors to argue for a change in legislation that prevents people from claiming support.

The report identifies 10 key action points to help tackle the underlying causes of rough sleeping, such as the implementation of a more integrated approach between social housing providers, local authorities, health and community organisations and the establishment of a series of pilots such as a new social housing model for young, single people.

Anderson said: “I’d like to thank John and Simon for leading this task force with great diligence and care. I know both have personally committed their lives to improving the lot of those who have been unfortunate to find themselves living on the street which is why these findings cannot and should not be ignored. This report is the most comprehensive analysis undertaken of rough sleeping in any UK city and shows that rough sleeping is on the rise across the country. The reason for that lies firmly at the door of the government’s attitude to benefits and specifically the No Recourse for Public Funds.

“Rough Sleeping will never go away unless this pernicious policy is reversed. This need cross-party support and is a cause I will be taking up with other city mayors to ensure the government understands a radical rethink is vital to solving this issue. It is not simply the case that more money will reduce this problem – this is going to require a new approach in how government at central and local level engage and act with our strategic partners and at grassroots level to address the very complex health needs of these unfortunate individuals.”