A Liverpool coffee shop dedicated to helping Liverpool’s rough sleepers has been broken into for the third time in two weeks.
A charity first and a business second, Paper Cup Coffee runs on donations in order to feed their homeless customers for free, and has been ‘targeted’ multiple times since late March.
The shop’s owner, Michelle Langan, who has been a prolific helper to the rough sleepers of Liverpool since 2022, says she felt “gutted” when told about the latest break-in.
Third time in two weeks pic.twitter.com/QrVIzsDtMC— Paper Cup Coffee Liverpool (@PCPCoffee) April 6, 2023
She said: “The second time someone’s been in, they’ve known what they wanted. They wanted money.”
The second burglary saw more property damage, with the recently-repaired glass doors smashed again.
The intruder stole £20 from the till and ransacked the shelves where the tip jar was previously kept, leaving Michelle to believe that whoever did it “knows what they were looking for”.
The theft temporarily disrupted the shop’s ability to help their homeless customers, many of whom rely on Paper Cup Coffee for food, as Michelle was forced to close April 3 for repairs and cleaning.
Michelle added: “They’ve been really upset by it. The day after the break-in the shop was closed and we had so many homeless people come in to try and get breakfast and try to get coffee, but we couldn’t open because there was glass everywhere.
“One of the ladies who comes in each day was really upset and in tears because she couldn’t believe someone would target us in that way, because we’re the place she comes to every day.”
Though the burglar managed to steal very little in cash, their actions had a big, emotional impact on one homeless girl in particular.
Jade, who is a frequent visitor of Paper Cup Coffee, instantly donated 30p to the recovery, giving Michelle “all she had”.
Two of the homeless girls we help have just been to see us. Julieanne was in tears, because she couldn’t believe someone would break in. Jade had 30p, and insisted that we take it ‘its all I have and you have helped me so many times, I don’t forget.’ pic.twitter.com/PHOXO6Zf8f— Paper Cup Coffee Liverpool (@PCPCoffee) April 3, 2023
Being a charity, the cost of repairs comes out of their own funds, something Paper Cup Coffee struggled to afford for a second time in as many weeks.
Luckily, the good samaritans of Liverpool have stepped up to help Michelle and her shop out in their time of need.
Michelle said: “We’ve had such lovely support from people, from one guy offering to cover the cost of the door being repaired, to people offering to help with the cost to revamp our security and people donating.
“I think people have been really horrified that we’ve been targeted not once, but twice. People have been really, really kind.”
You can donate to the Paper Cup Coffee shop here.
In spite of everyone’s collective efforts, Paper Cup Coffee was attacked again during the night of April 5.
Merseyside Police are actively searching for the perpetrators and encourage the public to contact @MerPolCC on Twitter, or via the Merseyside Police Contact Centre on Facebook with reference 23000277672.