Over 70% of people in North West feel 'powerless' to help homeless people

Seven in ten people in the North West feel 'powerless' to help homeless people, according to a new poll.

The YouGov poll, which has been published by the charity Crisis, surveyed over 2,000 adults in Great Britain.

The poll also revealed that four in ten people in the North West said they rarely or never try to do something to help when they see people experiencing homelessness.

People said that their reasons for not helping were that they felt nervous to approach people and didn't always know what to do to help.

A homeless man sat on the steps at Liverpool Central Library. Credit: PA

Jon Sparkes, Chief Executive of Crisis, said: "British people care about homelessness and they want to help but uncertainty and nervousness are stopping them.

"We all need the same basic things – shelter, food and being treated with dignity. Homelessness is incredibly isolating and lonely.

"Many people we work with tell us that not being acknowledged or treated as a fellow human being can be just as painful as the physical hardships.

"A friendly hello or quick chat is often as welcome as buying a hot drink or some food."

For people experiencing homelessness on the streets, Crisis says there are a variety of immediate ways to help:

Crisis say they are currently preparing to open their Christmas centres which they say are a lifeline for thousands of homeless people over the festive period.

The centres offer immediate relief of warm food, shelter and many health and wellbeing services and also introduce guests to Crisis' year-round services so they can be supported to leave homelessness behind for good.