A Liverpool cafe that provides a lifeline for homeless people has been broken into.
PaperCup Coffee, located in Queens Square, was set up by The Papercup Project to train rough sleepers in 2022.
The cafe was targeted in the early hours of Monday morning. Once inside, thieves raided the shop’s till and stole a jar of tips collected by staff members.
Michelle Langan, owner of PaperCup Coffee, said she isn’t sure how much has been taken but that “things could have been a lot worse” if staff had not cashed up before closing.
“I was called at around 6.30am to say there had been a break-in and we think it happened in the morning.
“They have smashed the door with a brick or something and got into the shop.
“They have taken the staff tips. We’re not sure how much but thankfully we had cashed up before closing so it could have been a lot worse.”
When Michelle launched the project in 2022 she told Merseynewslive: “I started PaperCup because I felt that people who are sleeping rough were not being heard; they were voiceless and being on the streets carries a lot of stigma.”
Merseyside Police have been to the coffee shop to investigate and gather CCTV images from nearby.
It is believed whoever did this was in a “desperate situation.”
CCTV and forensic enquiries have also been carried out.
Michelle added: “The sad thing is that if they had come into the shop and said they were struggling, we would have fed them and looked after them – all they had to do was ask.”
She said the cost of fixing the door was “a hassle” but encouraged people to visit as much as possible to help them support the homeless, they are open as normal.
Sad to see that someone is so desperate to do this pic.twitter.com/bJEcwyCUtB
— Paper Cup Coffee Liverpool (@PCPCoffee) March 21, 2023
Anyone who can assist is asked to DM @MerPolCC or contact @CrimestoppersUK on 0800 555 111 quoting reference 23000238423.