Almost a quarter of Lincoln rough sleepers leave lockdown housing

Just under a quarter of rough sleepers housed in Lincoln at the beginning of the coronavirus lockdown have since left the accommodation provided.

Following a government directive at the end of March, the City of Lincoln Council found housing for 21 people sleeping rough.

However, six of those have now left with a spokesman confirming they had “chosen to either return to the streets or lost the accommodation.”

Alison Timmins, the County Homelessness Partnerships Manager, said that although the council had been successful, there had been difficulty in arranging support requirements needed at “such short notice”.

“Many of these individuals have complex needs and struggle with issues ranging from substance abuse to poor mental health,” she said.

Chairman of the Lincolnshire Resilience Forum Jason Harwin said it had been a massive ask for local authorities and there had been challenges including human rights issues about forcing people into accommodation.

“Initially, the majority of those who were homeless were complying, but there was some real challenge about how sustainable it is going forward,” he said.

“The reality is you’ve got individuals there who maybe don’t want to stay there.

“If they haven’t got the virus or symptoms we haven’t got powers to force them to live there.”

He acknowledged it could be tough for those who were used to sleeping rough to adapt back into living in housing.

He added, however, that those out on the streets unnecessarily could still be dealt with by the same penalties anyone who breaches lockdown unnecessarily face.

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