More than £896,000 of funding will have been spent on tackling rough sleepers in Lincoln by the end of this financial year, a report has revealed.
Lincoln was named as one of 83 councils to have the highest number of rough sleepers and received £376,747 in October, and a further £519,396 in December ready for the 2019/20 financial year.
The authority has had two lots of funding from a £30 million Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government pot set up to tackle the rise in rough sleeping across the country.
City of Lincoln Councillors will, on Wednesday, examine how the money has been spent and how it is helping homeless people in the area.
Alison Timmins, County Homelessness Partnerships Manager, said: “We are delighted to have been successful in our bid for this funding.
“There has been a rise in street homelessness in recent years and this funding allows us to work with partners to help people who are in this position to access the vital services, including accommodation, that they require.”
In response, the authority set up a Rough Sleeping Team, and was also named as one of 11 cities around the UK to get a Somewhere Safe to Stay centre.
These centres offer support on issues such as mental health and substance misuse to rough sleepers and those at risk of sleeping rough, providing shelter in the short term as their needs are assessed.
The Lincoln one, which has been running under the auspices of Framework for two months, has space for eight people to stay for 72 hours at a time.
Those referred to the site are assessed for their needs and helped to access housing as well as health, substance misuse and other support services.
Council officers would not divulge how much the centre has cost to set up, citing it as “commercially sensitive”.
Since it was set up, the council’s rough sleeper project has dealt with 217 enquiries with more than 88 people getting help such as being referred to complex needs units, crash pads, temporary accommodation and even permanent housing.
Here’s how the figures break down:
- 217 Enquiries
- 21 referred into the Complex Needs Unit
- 16 referred into the Crash Pads
- 14 placed in temporary accommodation
- seven reconnected to their place of origin
- 30 permanently housed
The rough sleeping team is separate to an intervention team set up around the same time to deal with anti-social behaviour and drug addiction problems. Though both form part of a wider strategy for the city centre which sees partnerships with organisations such as P3, YMCA and Addaction strengthened.
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