Some 60 rough sleepers have been supported by a new government-funded shelter in Lincoln since it opened in March.
The Somewhere Safe to Stay Hub is one of a network of 11 emergency hubs in the country and is part of the government’s £100 million Rough Sleeping Strategy.
Operated by the charity Framework, it provides immediate shelter to up to 12 people for an initial period of 72 hours, along with intensive support from specialist staff who work to find longer-term accommodation and support solutions.
The Somewhere Safe to Stay Hub is Commissioned by City of Lincoln Council with funding from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG).
Since opening in March, the service has supported a total of 60 people and helped 30 of them to move into more settled accommodation – most often supported housing specifically designed for people experiencing homelessness.
Framework Operations Manager Sandra Blow said: “This service provides an immediate lifeline to some of the most vulnerable and chaotic people in our city – people who are damaging their health and risking their lives by sleeping rough on the streets. The service takes direct referrals from partners working with rough sleepers and is an excellent example of partnership working.
“It provides a first step for people along a wider pathway of accommodation in the city – most of it provided by Framework. People with higher needs may move onto our Complex Needs Accommodation on Friars Lane.
“Others with lower needs may move on to other supported housing options such as The Pathways Centre on Beaumont Fee, whilst others may be supported into independent accommodation in the private sector and with other providers.
“Many of the people using the hub have very complex needs including addiction issues and mental and physical ill health. These problems can cause people to be very challenging and confrontational. We aim to work with anyone who needs our help and try not to turn anyone away because we are acutely aware that, for many of the most vulnerable people, we are their last and only chance for help and support.”
Alison Timmins, Homelessness Partnerships Manager at City of Lincoln Council, added: “We have seen the numbers of people sleeping rough increase in Lincoln in recent years, and are aware that people sleep rough for many reasons and often have serious complex needs which they need help and support to address before they are able to maintain their own settled accommodation.
“City of Lincoln Council has worked closely with a number of key providers, including Framework, in order to access government funding to improve our services to help those people who are sleeping rough.
“We are delighted that the partnership has been able to help so many people in the first few months of the project and we look forward to working with Framework and our other partners to further develop these services to eventually eradicate rough sleeping in the city.”