New help for Isle’s homeless

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New, self-contained flats for the homeless have been developed at Scunthorpe.

The accommodation for homeless people from around the area will be a new and long-term source of shelter, support and opportunity, it is hoped. The ‘place of change’ opens next month.

Scotter House, built on the site of a former care home in Dorchester Road, is modelled on the government’s Homelessness Change Programme. It will provide self-contained flats – each with its own kitchen and bathroom, for up to 20 people at a time.

Residents will be able to address their problems, enhance their education and develop their practical skills while living there. One of the aims is to help them establish and sustain their own lives after moving on.

Other key objectives are to reduce rough sleeping and homelessness and with them the ill-health that is associated with these lifestyles; to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour; to promote successful resettlement; to encourage self-reliance and reduce dependency. It is expected that the service will ultimately save tens of thousands of pounds per annum from the public purse.

The facility has been built by Framework Housing Association in partnership with North Lincolnshire Council. The capital cost of £2.25 million has been funded by the Association and the Council with contributions from the Homes and Communities Agency and the Department of Health.

The service itself will be operated by Creative Support, an experienced provider of housing-related support and residential care. Representatives of Framework, Creative Support and North Lincolnshire Council were all present at today’s opening.

Framework Chief Executive Andrew Redfern said: “For people who would otherwise be sleeping rough, Framework’s emergency services offer more than just shelter. They provide good quality accommodation in an environment of safety, warmth and companionship. This is a solid base from which people can begin to find their feet and engage with the society around them, making appropriate use of public services and exploring the options for training, volunteering and employment. This development is modelled on several existing schemes elsewhere that are highly successful. We look forward to working with Creative Support to produce similar if not better outcomes here in Scunthorpe.”

Coun Liz Redfern, leader, North Lincolnshire Council, said: “The accommodation will be lifeline to many in need. They will have access to the support they need, giving them every opportunity to improve their lives.”