A homeless man who had a cup of coffee thrown over him said it is "killing him" being on the streets.

John was speaking to an ECHO reporter today, when a passerby threw a cup of coffee at him, as he sat outside River Island, on Church Street.

The man, who is a trained plasterer with 25 years experience, said he is "sick of the way he is treated", after the shocking incident, which happened at around 2pm.

He said: "It's killing me being out here, I don't want to be out here.

"You just get tarred with the same brush as all the junkies."

John was outside the store, holding a sign which reads 'Hi I'm John, homeless and looking for work' when the coffee was thrown at him soaking his belongings and the spot where he was sat.

The 40-year-old said he often sits in that particular spot, on the high street, as there is an open doorway to the side - which provides him some shelter from the weather.

However, after the vile incident, he asked a security guard, who was stood at the doors of River Island, if he could move closer to the entrance for safety.

He said this incident is just one of a number of difficult times he has had, during his seven months on the streets.

The dad-of-one previously told the ECHO, in October, how his life spiralled out of control after he lost part of his finger in an accident, and was unable to work.

After being unable to work he and his partner were evicted by their landlord and has since been sleeping in a tent on the streets.

John, who holds a sign that reads he 'does not take drugs', told the ECHO how he has struggled with substance addiction in the past, but now just wants a job.

He said: "I'm an ex user, I was a drug addict for 15 years and I beat it.

"I won't sit here any longer, you get people that sit here making money for drugs or whatever they do all day.

"But as soon as I get enough money, I go to a bed and breakfast and pay for a room for the night."

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Over the Christmas period John said a kind Scouser bought him a mobile phone which the ex-plasterer uses to stay in touch with his 10-year-old son that he longs to be reunited with.

River Island security guard, William Smith, who helped John after the incident today, often charges the phone for him and gets him a cup of coffee of a morning.

William told the ECHO: "It's sad, he's a good lad.

"He doesn't hassle people, he gets told to move on.

"He's always wanting work.

"All he wants is a home."

Liverpool - Labre House

In Liverpool, the advice is quite simple - contact the team at the city council’s dedicated rough sleeper facility, Labre House.

The new centre - which was launched late last year and is run in conjunction with homeless charity Whitechapel - offers a safe, warm space at its Camden Road hub for anyone who finds themselves on the streets or in trouble.

So if you are out and about in Liverpool and spot someone sleeping on the cold streets, the advice is to contact Labre House on 0300 123 2041 and provide specific information about where the rough sleepers is.

Elsewhere in Merseyside - contact StreetLink

While Labre House is the go to number to call for anyone in Liverpool, there is also a number that people elsewhere in Merseyside can call to report a homeless person sleeping on dangerously cold streets.

The Street Link organisation works to send alerts to local councils across the country about concerns raised regarding rough sleepers.

If you are worried about someone, you can either use the website streetlink.org.uk to fill in an online form.

This will let the Street Link team know exactly when and where someone has been spotted rough and this information can then be passed on to the relevant team at the council in question.

If a person has been spotted during the day rather than at night - users will be offered a list of nearby services that can be accessed straight away.

This can often prove to be a better option for the individual than waiting for the outreach team to come out to them at night.

A Streetlink app can also be downloaded on mobile phones to make this process easier for those who are out and about on the streets.

Using the app - an alert can be sent straight to StreetLink and passed on to the council who can take action to help a person in need.

It is believed that following the incident John was approached by a Merseyside Police officer who moved him on.

Merseyside Police was contacted for comment.

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