Homeless people with health conditions and rough sleepers in shared facilities are to be relocated to more appropriate housing to help reduce the spread of coronavirus in Liverpool.
The council’s rough sleeper shelter Labre House will close due to people currently sharing communal spaces and bathrooms. They will be transferred to places with separate rooms and bathrooms – such as aparthotels – which will enable them to self-isolate if necessary.
Homeless households currently in bed and breakfast accommodation will be moved to aparthotels, as will those with health conditions in temporary accommodation where they cannot safely self-isolate. They will continue to be offered support.
In total the council is securing units for 110 individuals and around 50 households to help keep them safe during the current pandemic, costing around £300k for the next three months.
In the longer term, the council is looking at a range of other options that would prove more cost effective solutions.
Outreach teams are continuing to visit the city centre every day to encourage rough sleepers inside and provide them with appropriate medical support if necessary. The council is working closely with health colleagues to proactively identify anyone with underlying health conditions and ensure they are offered targeted advice, support and a move to alternative accommodation if necessary.
Anyone in Liverpool who is at immediate risk of becoming homeless is being urged to contact the council’s Housing Options Team via phone or online.
Previously, people looking for advice or support were able to call into the team’s office in St John’s Market for face-to-face assessments, however to limit the spread of coronavirus the public counter has now been closed.
People can refer themselves to Housing Options by calling Careline, the council’s 24/7 social care contact centre, on 0151 233 3800 (Freephone 0800 731 6844).
And now a new online form has been launched to make the service even more accessible: https://liverpool.gov.uk/housing/homeless-or-at-risk/housing-options-referral/
Professionals who are already supporting residents can still refer people to Housing Options under their Duty to Refer responsibility using the usual online form. https://liverpool.gov.uk/housing/homeless-or-at-risk/referrals-from-professionals/
The process for getting support for rough sleepers remains the same – use the 24-hour ‘Always Room Inside’ number: 0300 123 2041.