Football legend and hotel owner
unite to tackle homelessnes



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Liverpool F.C icon Jamie Carragher has given his support to a new centre for the homeless in Liverpool which has been opened by Signature Living’s Lawrence Kenwright.

In what is described as a Big Brother house for rough sleepers, Mr Kenwright has spent £150,000 of his personal fortune to open the shelter in a bid to help homeless people off the streets.

The state-of-the-art facility, known as the Cotton Street Project, opened on World Homeless Day.

The shelter, based in Cotton Street near Liverpool city centre, is set to be the UK’s first facility to offer full, wrap around support to tackle the deep-rooted problems including alcohol and drug addiction – which see individuals sleeping rough. It will provide food, accommodation and training workshops.

More than 300,000 people in Britain – equivalent to one in every 200 – are officially recorded as homeless, according to figures released by the charity Shelter earlier this year.

The converted warehouse, which will operate 24-hours a day, has the capacity for 50 people to sleep the night and boasts a communal area with a pool table, a table tennis table, chessboards and beanbags – a look more in keeping with the Big Brother house than a traditional shelter for rough sleepers.

The venue will be used as a cafe in the day, which could feed up to 200 of the city’s most vulnerable citizens. There will be medical professionals on call and drug and alcohol councillors will also be on site. There are also plans to host workshops to help people improve their job skills and gain decent employment.

Mr Kenwright asked the former England international to help open the shelter, as the fellow Liverpudlian has been an avid campaigner on homelessness for some time. In January 2018, Carragher hosted a football match to raise vital funds for Signature Living’s inaugural shelter, Kingsway House.

Speaking to a TrailBlazer, Jamie Carragher said:

“Rough sleeping is increasing day by day. I’ve heard horror stories from people whose lives have been turned upside down after losing their homes and ending up on the streets. There isn’t enough support for them at all and I don’t think local councils or the Government quite understands the scale of the problem but it isn’t just a problem for them – it is down to all of us to help out where we can.

“What Lawrence is doing is fantastic. I am proud to give him and the Cotton Street Project my support. I’ll be keeping in regular contact with those using the shelter and hopefully helping them to turn their lives around for the better.”

Lawrence Kenwright said:

“It’s fantastic to have the support of Jamie Carragher and heart-warming that he’s working with us to support this huge effort to tackle rough sleeping.

We have got a humanitarian crisis on our hands and a Government that has turned its back on homeless people. In the fifth richest economy in the world, how can that be right?

I’m in a fortunate position to help, that’s why I’m doing something about it. As the cold of winter draws closer, we cannot stand still and do nothing as people freeze to death on our streets.

It’s not just a problem for Local Authorities – which have had millions slashed from their budgets in recent years – it’s a problem for all of us. And if the public and private sector work better together I believe we can help end the plight of homelessness in Liverpool.

The spirit of Liverpool is one of generosity – and through opening the homeless shelter I’m only doing what any Scouser in my position would do.”

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