Council partnership goes above and beyond to get South Holland rough sleepers housed for Christmas

Posted on 21 December 2020

South Holland District Council and its partners at Change4Lincs have given the perfect Christmas present to three former rough sleepers in the District, finding them a new permanent home and helping them into employment in the space of just six weeks.

Change4Lincs is a new partnership between South Holland, South Kesteven, North Kesteven and West Lindsey district councils, working across Lincolnshire to support people known to be rough sleeping or at risk of having to do so.

The three men, who had all been rough sleeping following breakdowns in their relationships, first became known to the Council at the beginning of November, who worked quickly to move them into temporary accommodation as soon as possible.

The Change4Lincs team were then able to set up a programme of support and outreach to work with them, helping them through the necessary forms and steps to their Universal Credit entitlement, to get correct identification and start to search for employment and a permanent place to call home.

With all three of them getting along well and actively searching for work, the team were able to find a suitable multiple occupancy property in Spalding that they were able to move into together, with the Council working with the landlord to get them moved in and agree discretionary housing payments to support them.

To help with the move the team were also able to provide some essentials to get them started in their new home, including fresh bedding and essential toiletries. The local foodbank has also been supportive, providing regular food parcels to help them throughout. 

Two of the men are now due to start new jobs this week, with the other having registered for work with a local agency. Thanks to the collaborative work of the Change4Lincs team and the opportunity to provide intensive support plans, all three have gone from rough sleeping to a permanent place to live and new jobs in just a month and a half, all in time to spend Christmas in their new home.

Councillor Christine Lawton, South Holland District Council portfolio holder for HRA and private sector housing, said: "The journey of these three residents has really been inspiring to hear, and is testament to the fantastic work and desire to go above and beyond from our staff at the Council and through the Change4Lincs partnership.

"Especially at this time of year it is so important to remember that rough sleeping really can happen to anyone, and that a little bit of help and support can go a long way. As well as crucial support with their benefits and accommodations, the little gestures like providing toiletries and bedding are so important in helping someone to settle in and make their new house feel like a home. We wish them well for Christmas and the New Year.

"I would like to thank everyone involved from the Council and Change4Lincs for their work on this case. Without partnership working outcomes like this would not be possible anything like as quickly, if at all, and the team deserve huge credit for the work they do."

Nobody should have to sleep rough. Anyone who is homeless or threatened with homelessness should contact the Council's housing options team as soon as possible, or call free phone number 0808 100 0210, which is open 24/7. Anyone needing help or who knows of someone sleeping rough in Lincolnshire can also call P3's Street Outreach Team on 0808 281 028.