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The hotel entrepreneur has spent almost £150,000 on opening a shelter that will provide food and accommodation for at least 50 people
Chloe Chaplain
Saturday September 22nd 2018.

A businessman from Liverpool has used £150,000 of his own money to help homeless people off the streets by building a new shelter providing food, accommodation and workshops.

Lawrence Kenwright, the hotel entrepreneur, said he wanted to provide a “warm, safe” space to “stop people dying on the streets” of Liverpool.

He and his wife Katie have built a 24-hour shelter, due to open on National Homeless day on 10 October, based out of a converted warehouse.

The shelter, which has the capacity for 50 people to sleep the night, boasts a communal area with a pool table, a table tennis table, chess boards and beanbags.

Plans to host workshops

He hopes to use the venue as a soup kitchen in the day, which could feed upto 200 people.

There are plans for it to offer joinery and upholstery workshops to provide people staying with the opportunity to learn new skills.
The Liverpool Echo reported that there will also be medical professionals on call and drug and alcohol councillors will be on site.

Mr Kenwright has campaigned to help the homeless for some time, and has outlined plans to offer specific homes to drug addicts in order to help them rebuild their lives.

He is taking his proposals to the Labour autumn conference in Liverpool, which begins on Sunday.

Speaking about the venture in a blog post, he wrote: “I believe that the homeless system that we abide by in the UK is smashed to pieces.

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It has been built in a converted warehouse
“The people who work within it have given their lives not for a wage but because they really want to make a difference.

“However, they are jaded by red tape and an ever decreasing pot of money that more and more organisations are fighting over.

“I have witnessed with my own eyes the level of frustration that our homeless must endure, even when they actually want to gain help on many occasions, it just isn’t there. That can be due to a lack of funding, beds or just a lack of connectivity.”

‘We need to work together’

He urged local people to “work as a community” and volunteer at the shelter.

Liverpool’s Deputy Mayor and Cabinet Member for Housing, Cllr Lynnie Hinnigan, praised the initiative.

“Lawrence is one of Liverpool’s most prominent business people but, despite his workload, it is clear that he and his family are passionate about taking action to help people faced with homelessness,” he said.
There are plans to offer workshops to help people to improve their job skills
“His commitment to supporting the city address the problem is undeniable. I have met with him to discuss the proposals and I hope that we can work together.

“Working together is key to addressing the issue, as a council we spend £12m a year tackling homelessness.

“The mayor is fully committed and open to help from our residents, the business community and the many voluntary and community organisations out there to eradicate homelessness in our city.”

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