Fears for Liverpool’s rough sleepers as the ‘perfect storm’ threatens them again.
Something spectacular happened in cities like Liverpool over the last 18 months.
Walking around the city center for an extended amount of time, you would be hard pressed to find somebody sleeping rough. There were no sleeping bags and very few homemade beds. In comparison to previous years, this is a radically different story.
The pandemic caused enormous suffering and misery in places like this one, but it appeared to galvanize a movement and a strategy that had been lacking for so long, and it produced some genuinely impressive achievements on specific issues, such as homelessness and rough sleeping.
As the number of instances of covid rises, a Liverpool doctor criticizes the ‘inexplicable delay.’
The government requested local councils across England in late March 2020 to “help make sure we get everyone in,” including people who would not otherwise be eligible for treatment under homelessness legislation.
Local governments rushed to provide emergency funding and guarantee that individuals sleeping rough were relocated in safe, secure housing. They took over student halls and found rooms in bed and breakfasts by blocking booked hotels, securing en-suite apartments, and taking over student halls.
Of course, these were unique conditions, but the rough sleeping situation in cities like Liverpool was almost immediately alleviated.
A government taskforce, led by Dame Louise Casey, was established to liaise with local authorities to guarantee that persons who were removed off the streets as part of the Everyone In project were placed in longer-term housing and did not return to the city streets.
An allocations panel was established in Liverpool to match people with permanent houses, allowing adults and families to move quickly from temporary housing to long-term housing.
The end product was very remarkable.
Everyone who came in saw that 1,800 individuals had been accommodated.
A following allocations panel in Liverpool ended homelessness for 934 households, with another 100 matched to new housing.
The government claims it wants to build on the success of Everyone In, but emergency money has run out, and those working in the sector in Liverpool say the number of people returning to the streets is on the rise again – at the worst possible time.
The cessation of that financing, the arrival of winter weather, and other factors have created a ‘perfect storm,’ according to charities. “The summary has come to an end.”