Rough sleepers are on the rise in Spalding town centre

Sleeping rough in the entrance to the old Johnson Hospital, in Priory Road, Spalding. SG190916-126TW
Sleeping rough in the entrance to the old Johnson Hospital, in Priory Road, Spalding. SG190916-126TW
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More and more homeless people are sleeping rough in shop doorways and at prominent sites in Spalding.

People have slept rough for several days during daylight in the entrance to the old Johnson Hospital, in Priory Road, Spalding.

Three people have been seen in sleeping bags on a grassy area beside Double Street, between Hills Department Store and the Lincolnshire Poacher pub.

One man regularly sleeps in the entrance to the Lincolnshire Co-op Travel, in Hall Place, and another town travel agent has reportedly installed a gate to prevent rough sleepers accessing its yard.

A rough sleeper has also been seen bedding down in the entrance to the former Station Gates pub,

Homeless man Artur Dismanis (44) has spent around three months camping in the open air, first in a bus shelter and second in a tent on wasteland.

He was living side by side with recovering drug addict Ben Chapman (33), who was also homeless.

On Monday, Artur told us: “I haven’t seen Ben for two weeks.”

Artur lost his home when he lost his job and said this week he hadn’t been offered any help.

A town trader, who asked not to be named, said rough sleeping around the town centre has become more of an issue during the last month.

He said: “It doesn’t create a very good impression of Spalding and we have got the Pumpkin Parade coming up.”

The trader said people were sleeping at the Bull and Monkie pub site, before the council cleaned it up, and in tents at the former Welland Hospital site.

Coun Christine Lawton, council portfolio Holder for housing, said: “We actively work with partners to offer help and support to people sleeping rough in South Holland.

“We are aware of these cases in Spalding and are working with the P3 Lincolnshire Outreach Team to offer assistance.

“In the case of individuals at the old Johnson Hospital, they have been offered help but turned it down. EU Nationals who refuse to engage can be referred to the Home Office.

“We regularly monitor rough sleepers across the district, leaving no stone unturned to ensure every recorded case is dealt with.

“However, our work can only ever be a snapshot and it is vitally important that people report cases to us.

“Councils have a legal duty to help people who become homeless and our housing advice team offer advice and assistance to people in this situation.

• Legally there is a difference between rough sleeping and homelessness although to the layman they mean the same.

For example, someone who loses their house through a job loss is deemed legally homeless, whereas a rough sleeper may not have had a home and is sleeping rough through choice.

Councils have a legal duty to help people who are legally homeless and the following page outlines the help offered by South Holland District Council www.sholland.gov.uk/article/3339/Homelessness

Previously ...

Homeless camp on Spalding wasteland