Pathways Centre resident and former rough sleeper Tim Baynham (L) with Centre Manager Chris Bugden
Six months after it opened, the Lincoln Pathways Centre for the homeless is at full capacity, which has accommodated more than 40 people.
Owned and managed by the Framework housing charity, the centre on Beaumont Fee is staffed 24-hours a day and is now at the centre of the local fight against homelessness and rough sleeping.
Up to 21 people can be housed at any one time – each in their own fully equipped flat.
For people who may otherwise be forced to sleep rough, the centre, which employs 14 people, offers a home for those in need.
Thirteen residents at The Pathways Centre have already made positive move-ons, meaning they have re-engaged with society and are no longer in danger of sleeping rough.
Seven of these former tenants now have their own tenancies elsewhere thanks to the help and support they received at the centre.
Pathways Centre Manager Chris Bugden said: “During our first six months The Pathways Centre team has been able to fine-tune a wide-range of positive activities focused on providing individuals with all the necessary skills needed to ensure a positive move-on.
“We have now set up ‘skills for independence’ workshops such as budgeting, cooking, tenant and landlord rights and responsibilities, anti-social behaviour awareness, IT, confidence building, and health and safety.
“We are also providing a number of drop-in clinics, including a nurse drop-in provided by Probation Health, a drug and alcohol drop-in provided by Addaction, and a housing advice drop-in provided by Pathways Centre staff and our Offenders’ Floating Support Team.”
The Pathways Centre support team
Pathways Centre resident and former rough sleeper Tim Baynham, 43, has made a lot of progress since moving into the centre. He is addressing his problem with alcohol and is now working as a volunteer with other homeless people.
He said: “Through the support I have received from Framework and other networks I have become optimistic and confident in my new start in life.
“They understand us and are outstanding in the way they help us, so much so that I am weeks away from securing my very own property and rejoining the community.”
Framework Service Director Lisa Del Buono said: “Homelessness and rough sleeping are serious problems in the City of Lincoln and beyond.
“The cost of homelessness and rough sleeping to individuals and society are enormous – both financially and emotionally.
“But the costs of doing nothing far out-weigh the cost of taking this kind of highly visible and highly effective action,” she added.
Councillor Ric Metcalfe, Leader of the City of Lincoln Council said: “Homeless people often face a wide range of social and health problems which take time to resolve.
“The real strength of what Pathways is offering is this longer term help which offers a greater prospect of success in helping people turn their lives around.
“Homeless people need help at all stages of the problems they face,” Councillor Metcalfe said.