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Help is at hand for homeless people this Christmas

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North Lincolnshire Council along with local charities offer a variety of support to people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, and we are reminding people that help is at hand this Christmas - and all year round.

The council is urging anyone who is homeless or at risk of becoming homeless to get in touch with the Housing Advice Team on 01724 297000 or email housingadvice@northlincs.gov.uk. You can also find out more information at www.northlincs.gov.uk/homelessness.

Don’t feel like you are on your own, a range of support is available to people who find themselves homeless or in a situation where they are threatened with becoming homeless.

The council’s Housing Advice Team has an Assertive Outreach Worker who works with partners, such as The Forge to help rough sleepers in North Lincolnshire to find suitable accommodation.

The council’s first priority for anyone threatened with becoming homeless is to prevent the threat by assisting them to keep their home.

The Forge Project in Scunthorpe on Cottage Beck Road offers support to homeless people including a befriending service, warm meals and much more.

Over the Christmas period The Forge is open:

Friday 22 December, 9.30am to 12.45pm

Monday 25 December, 10am to 1.30pm

Friday 28 December, 9.30am to 12.45pm

Tuesday 2 January, 9.30am to 12.45pm

It is closed Boxing Day, Wednesday 27 December and New Year’s Day.

For further details about The Forge and the support they provide, visit www.theforgeproject.co.uk.

Foodbanks are open until 22 December 2017 and reopen on 3 January 2018.

Every year the council carries out a rough sleeper count in North Lincolnshire to identify how many people are sleeping rough on that night. This year 14 people were identified.

During really cold temperatures, as we have experienced recently, the council will ensure that any one rough sleeping in our area is offered somewhere to stay overnight if they contact us to keep them out of the cold. This has been used this winter already.

Councillor Richard Hannigan, Safer, Greener and Cleaner Places, said: “This Christmas, we are trying to raise awareness of the support that is available for people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. Support is available all year round, but as the temperatures drop during the winter months and with Christmas just around the corner we want to ensure people know help is available.

“Christmas and New Year can be very lonely for many people. The Forge Project does a fantastic job by providing somewhere warm where they can get a hot meal and not be alone.

“Being homeless is a worrying situation to be in. People can find themselves homeless through a variety of reasons – a relationship breakdown, debt, substance misuse, mental health or leaving an institution.

“Solving rough sleeping is about much more than finding a home. It’s about providing the support they need to help them deal with and overcome their problems. They also have to be willing to accept our support.

“Working with other agencies, like The Forge allows us to provide the best possible support. It also enables us to identify rough sleepers as early as possible so they are supported appropriately; ensuring they are kept safe and well.

“During the recent severe cold weather we have helped people stay out of the cold and found them somewhere warm overnight. However, not everyone we offered this to took up the offer. We cannot force people to accept our support but we want to ensure they know we are there if and when they need our help.”