Shoppers in Birkenhead were given the opportunity to find out more about the realities of homelessness on Thursday 1st December when The Salvation Army parked its Emergency Response Unit outside Asda and chatted to local people while handing out leaflets and cups of tea. The church and charity were joined by Birkenhead Town Centre Hosts, Merseyside Police, Wirral Ways to Recovery and Forum Housing. Major Jonathan and Lieutenant Sam Hamilton, church leaders at Birkenhead and Moreton Corps (churches), organised the event with Wirral Ways to Recovery. Major Jonathan, said: “We wanted to get out to speak to people about homelessness in Birkenhead. We were aware that many people don’t know what they should do to help people experiencing homelessness and, particularly at this time of year when temperatures are plummeting we wanted to ensure local people are equipped with the information they need. “The leaflets that were handed out included a link to homelesslink.org.uk which is a great starting point. There is a real gap between the perception and realities of homelessness and we'd like to increase education - many of the people we help say that 'homeless is not who I am'. It's about seeing the person and not the problem." “We were also able to highlight the number and range of local agencies that are here to help. “A number of people experiencing homelessness asked for help and we were able to signpost them to the help they needed.” In total around 200 people received a cup of tea and a leaflet. The Salvation Army in Birkenhead supports some of the most vulnerable local people and runs a busy programme which includes two weekly sessions for people experiencing homelessness. The Salvation Army is a provider of Homelessness services throughout the UK and the Republic of Ireland. The church and charity believes providing a bed alone won't go far enough to solve the issues of homelessness. It is an expert in helping people who are experiencing homelessness achieve their goals and employs an experienced and skilled workforce. Staff walk alongside service users giving them support to reach their goal, whether that be employment, getting back in touch with family or beating an addiction. The Salvation Army will never give up on anyone and will give hope.