A Lincoln-based homeless centre will soon be a reality following the backing from a government funder.
Homes England, the government’s housing accelerator, has awarded just over £700,000 to YMCA Lincolnshire, inching them ever closer to their target amount of £1.6 million.
The funding, which has come in the organisation’s 150th anniversary year, will enable the construction of purpose built emergency overnight accommodation for the most vulnerable people in the city.
The “Nomad Centre” will upgrade and replace YMCA Lincolnshire’s Nomad Shelter on Monks Road.
Caroline Killeavy, Chief Executive at YMCA Lincolnshire, explains: “We have been waiting with bated breath to hear the outcome of the bid to Homes England, and are thrilled that Lincoln has been awarded this funding.
“We have listened to feedback and designed the new centre in such a way that it ensures the dignity and privacy of everyone who uses it. The Nomad Centre will break down barriers that were previously preventing people accessing essential services.”
The latest statistics recorded that the number of rough sleepers in Lincolnshire rose 225% between 2010 and 2018. Between October 2017 and October 2018 more than 260 people accessed the Nomad Shelter in Lincoln.
Along with 20 en-suite bedrooms, plans for the new Nomad Centre include a hub on the ground floor where there will be vital kitchen facilities providing three hot meals a day, toilets and shower rooms and consulting rooms.
Caroline Killeavy said: “The Nomad Centre will provide emergency accommodation, but crucially, in the form of en-suite rooms instead of the dormitory-style facilities on offer now.
“People accessing the centre will be given a helping hand to access medical services, find alternative, more permanent places to live and will be provided with support for addiction and mental health. We will continue to work collaboratively with organisations and local authorities across Lincoln and this will provide an opportunity to bring essential services under one roof.”
Caroline Cormack, head of home ownership and supply in the Midlands for Homes England said: “Homes England is committed to working with organisations like YMCA Lincolnshire to provide housing to meet the needs of communities. This project will offer emergency accommodation as well as a base from which essential services can be accessed and we look forward to it opening later this year.”
The grant was received through the Blue Skies Consortium, a group of housing associations led by Longhurst Group and Nottingham Community Housing Association (NCHA), which are strategic partners of Homes England. The two providers are joint owners of Pitch Development Services, which will be project managing the scheme on behalf of the YMCA.
Nick Worboys, Director of Development and Sales at Longhurst Group, said: “We are delighted that the YMCA have received funding for the new homeless accommodation and that through our consultancy service, Pitch, we will be helping them turn this project into a reality.
“Longhurst Group operates extensively in Lincoln and so we are very aware how much this new accommodation is needed and what a positive and life-changing difference it will make.”
YMCA Lincolnshire says construction on the Nomad Centre could begin as early as April this year.
Caroline Killeavy added: “We are proud to be a part of a community which has already helped us raise over £400,000 towards this project.
“We know the people of Lincoln are committed to ensuring no one in our city has to sleep rough. We are so close and we just need one final push – we are now in the process of developing and implementing innovative ideas to help us raise the final amount of funds.”