Lincoln charity close to replacing ‘stretched’ homeless shelter

The current facility on Monks Road. Photo: Oliver Pridmore.

The Nomad charity is more than halfway towards reaching its goal of opening a new homeless shelter in Lincoln.

The city-based organisation, part of YMCA Lincolnshire, is appealing for donations to fund their new £1.2 million ‘Lincoln Nomad Centre’.

The charity says its current facility on Monks Road needs replacing, with staff expressing concerns at how ‘tired’ the building is.

But now they are over halfway towards their £1.2 million target and are awaiting the decision on a request for funding from Homes England – a public body that funds affordable housing.

John Bell, a housing officer with Nomad, says the current facility is ‘stretched’.

He said: “This building is from a previous generation and it serves its purpose.

“However, for the vision that we have for the future – for the kind of support and the quality of support that we want to offer, the new building would just offer far more resource-wise.”

Whilst there would be no extra beds at the new facility, with provision remaining at 23, they would become individual rooms rather than dormitories.

Mr Bell explained how this could help homeless people:

The Monks Road facility is currently open from 8.30pm until 8am seven days a week, but now offers an additional day service from 8.30am until 3.30pm on weekdays.

Wendy Reynolds, who is a support worker for day services at the charity, explained what they offer:

Mrs Reynolds also believes that there is a lot of public misunderstanding around homelessness.

She said: “Sometimes when I open the door to let someone in, people going past just look at you up and down and they look at the service users coming in here.

“I don’t think they understand it. I don’t judge – I just think it’s bad that they judge these people and I think they judge us as well.”

The proposed new facility, which would involve a transformation of the current YMCA gym on St Rumbold’s Street, has been given planning permission and now needs to reach its funding target for work to begin.