Council takes action to house homeless over Christmas

South Kesteven District Council's Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP) swung into action during the cold weather over Christmas and New Year.

The SWEP initiative is a voluntary council initiative, triggered by extreme cold or severe weather, to helps those sleeping rough who may not normally be eligible for statutory housing services. SKDC is encouraging the public to report any rough sleepers so that it can engage with them.

SKDC also completed a property conversion in time to house several homeless people before Christmas as part of action to make sure everyone had a roof over their heads over the festive period.

Working with its partners at Change4Lincs, it converted one of its houses into a four-room multi-occupancy property in Grantham as part of its 'Everybody In' scheme.

Four people moving into SKDC's new conversion were provided with essentials to get them started, including bedding and toiletries. They are also receiving practical support to enable them to claim benefits, pursue job opportunities and secure longer-term accommodation for independent living

The council's Change4Lincs partnership with district councils in South Holland, North Kesteven and West Lindsey received a grant of £600,000 earlier this year to support rough sleepers or people at risk of becoming homeless in the winter.

The partnership campaign was launched on October 12 and provides a support service, outreach service and emergency accommodation as well as move-on accommodation.

Cllr Robert Reid, SKDC Cabinet Member for Housing, said: "I am pleased to say that we are going above and beyond our legal duties to help rough sleepers. All Change4Lincs partners have made a commitment that we will continue to provide accommodation for all those at risk of rough sleeping.

"We have also used additional grant funding secured earlier this year, along with re-purposed Government funds to ensure this is affordable.

"Many of the people we have been helping have been through our system a number of times, and we are working to support them and hoping to help them find a long-term home."
Picture caption: Inside the council property converted to house the homeless.

new house 1 new house 2 new house 3