City of Lincoln Council has offered accommodation to 17 rough sleepers following a government appeal to house them by the weekend.
Local authorities across Greater Lincolnshire were urged to do everything they can to “get everyone in” amid the coronavirus crisis.
The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government sent a letter to homelessness managers and rough sleeping co-ordinators across the country last Thursday (March 26).
Now, city council officials said the authority has identified 17 rough sleepers across Lincoln.
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Daren Turner, Director of Housing at the city council, said: “We have compiled a list of all people who are currently sleeping rough in Lincoln.
“We have identified accommodation for each of these, in line with the government’s requirements.
“However, many of these individuals have complex needs and struggle with issues ranging from substance abuse to poor mental health.
“So, while accommodation has been identified, there are also many additional care requirements which need to be in place. However, these are very difficult to arrange at this time with such short notice.”
It follows a letter from the government which said it was “redoubling its efforts” to make sure people were inside.
The letter, written by Dame Louise Casey, is reported to have said: “As you know, this is a public health emergency.
“We are all redoubling our efforts to do what we possibly can at this stage to ensure that everybody is inside and safe by this weekend, and we stand with you in this.
“These are unusual times so I’m asking for an unusual effort. Many areas of the country have already been able to ’safe harbour’ their people which is incredible.
“What we need to do now though is work out how we can get ‘everyone in’.”
Homeless charity Crisis said it welcomed the move but said questions remained over how it would be paid for.
Jon Sparkes, chief executive of the charity, described it as a “landmark moment and the right thing to do”.
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