Keeping Lincoln’s homeless safe as temperatures fall

Homeless man
A homeless man. Photo: Joshua Brown

Homeless people in Lincoln could get emergency accommodation to help them deal with icy temperatures this winter.

The Office for National Statistics recorded a 22% rise in homeless deaths in the UK in 2018, raising concern for the homeless in Lincoln.

With winter months coming, homeless people are at an increased risk of illness and death as the weather conditions continue to get colder and wetter.

Ric Metcalfe, the leader of the City of Lincoln Council, said: “There is a well-established winter plan so that when the temperature drops below freezing for 3 days, all the agencies together will do a sweep to try and, as far as humanly possible, get everybody off the streets.”

The City Council have worked closely with YMCA who are currently refurbishing their old YMCA gym into a new homeless shelter on St Rumbold’s Street.

The gym is being transformed into a purpose-built emergency accommodation for vulnerable people in the city and will provide individual en-suite rooms.

“We’ve been working closely with YMCA in the planning and design of the new Nomad Centre. I think it’s going to be a transformation of the offer we have got for the night shelter element. However, this is not the be all and end all of dealing with all of Lincoln’s homelessness problems.”

City of Lincoln Council
City of Lincoln Council building. Photo: Joshua Brown

The city council also independently work to help keep homelessness as low as possible.

“We’ve built around 200 to 300 council houses and have more to come. We’re also encouraging developers to build more affordable housing. We want to improve supply so that homelessness shouldn’t arise in the first place and improve standards in the private renting sector, as people can’t afford to buy their own houses.”

The homelessness team at the city council saw around 500 people in 2017/18 and say they managed to prevent 400 people from being homeless.