nomad_homeless_shelter

Shelters For The Homeless

Being homeless is something that many of us do not like to dwell on. There is much stigma and misinformation about homelessness and homeless shelters in the UK. However, there are a few people who offer a hand to help in an hour of need. The YMCA in Lincolnshire is one such group of people.

Entrance_YMCA_Nomad_Centre_Lincoln

Overall, Crisis estimated that in 2021 in England, Scotland and Wales, around 227,000 people were experiencing the worst forms of homelessness: rough sleeping, sleeping in vans and sheds, and being stuck in B&Bs.

Each year, around 700 homeless people die, with about two in every five being related to drug poisoning, and sadly, around one in ten being suicides.

The YMCA in Lincolnshire, led by Caroline Killeavy, has really made a difference in the lives of homeless people in their local community through their Nomad Centre shelter.

nomad_centre_lincoln

YMCA Nomad Centre

The Nomad Centre

The new Nomad Centre replaces the previous shelter of the same name on Monks Road in Lincoln. The new centre dramatically changes the provision and care that is offered. Despite the sincere and much-valued work that has gone on for many years at the Nomad Shelter, the new facility is a significant step forward.

Cookies must be accepted in order to display this content. Accept

The location of the Nomad Centre

The new Nomad Centre boasts 20 en-suite rooms. The rooms are not huge, but clean, bright, and secure. They bring a sense of dignity to the care that is given and a much needed feeling of safety to those who use them.

Speaking to some of the users of the centre, feeling safe is really valued. Out on the street, or crammed into dormitory-style rooms, physical safety is a daily threat. Often, I was told, their few treasured belongings, carried in pockets and bags, are stolen. It is especially traumatic as these are people who are already emotionally at risk.

homeless_shelter_rindividual_room

One of the bedrooms

care_package_for_homeless

YMCA Care pack found in every room

Alongside the individual rooms, the Nomad Centre boasts two new hostel rooms, a professional kitchen, day centre facilities, and most importantly, 24/7 access for residents – all much needed upgrades from the previous offer to those sleeping rough.

homeless_facilities
Guests_In_Nomad_Centre_Bedroom

A guest remembers her experiences and how different they would have been with a facility such as this

The Grand Opening

It was my pleasure to document the opening of this remarkable provision from the YMCA. I was particularly struck by the way in which attitudes towards the homeless have changed, and are still changing in Lincoln.

The work done is only the tip of the iceberg, but I was moved by members of the community describing, in such a positive way, the future for local people without a home.

Rev_Canon_John_Patrick_Speech

The Rev Canon John Patrick opened in prayer

Caroline_Killeavy_CEO_YMCA_Lincolnshire

Caroline Killeavy has led the charge for change as CEO of the YMCA Lincs

The new centre supports people without homes. People forced to sleep rough, often with complex and difficult backgrounds, may have suffered from abuse, addiction, or simply have fallen on hard times.

The demand for homelessness services in Lincolnshire is extremely high, with street homelessness in Lincoln three times higher now than it was in 2010.This is a common misunderstanding.

Ian_Sackree_YMCA_Homeless_Speech

Ian Sackree spoke with passion about the needs of the Homeless in Lincoln

Change of Attitude Towards The Homeless

In his speech, Ian Sackree, Chair of YMCA Lincs, highlighted to us the desperate conditions that people find themselves in. The behaviour of people in such need can often be misinterpreted and pigeon-holed without true compassion and understanding.

One example he gave was of an individual only owning 3 objects. Nothing more. If someone else tried to take one of those 3, it is understandable that they would fight tooth and nail to keep hold of them.

It made me reflect on all that I had. Not only my belongings, but my wife and children, a happy home, relationships, and opportunities.

How would I react if it were all taken from me?

How about you?

Ian_Sackree_YMCA_Lincoln_TV

TV Cameras on Ian Sackree

Allen_Gibson_Tesco_Gets_Award

Allen Gibson receives a Thank You on behalf of Tesco

Allen Gibson, representing Tesco, relayed to me how he had visited the previous Nomad Shelter. Filled with emotion at what he saw and with the stories of the users of the shelter, he came away determined to make a real difference. Not just in raising money to provide the new centre, but in working to change local people's attitudes towards the homeless around them.

CEO_YMCA_Lincs_And_Vice_President_of_YMCA_Worldwide

Caroline Killeavy with Mr Peter Posner, Vice President of the YMCA Worldwide

Building_Manager_YMCA_Nomad

The Building Manager

Trustees_of_YMCA_Lincolnshire

Trustees of Lincoln YMCA attending the opening

Guests_at_the_YMCA_Nomad_Centre

Guests arriving

Guests_Official_YMCA_Opening

The opening was very well attended with everyone so supportive for the Centre

YMCA_Staff_Serve_Refreshments

Food served up by YMCA Shelter staff

Bill_Skelly_Chief_Constable_Lincolnshire

Chief Constable of Lincolnshire, Bill Skelly, has been a key supporter of the initiative

YMCA_Staff_At_Opening
Guests_Enjoy_Official_YMCA_Opening
architect_nomad_centre

The Architect

VIP Opening of the Nomad Centre for the Homeless in Lincoln

The Centre was opened by Toby Dennis, Lord-Lieutenant, Susan Burke, The Right Worshipful the Mayor of Lincoln, The Rev Canon John Patrick, Ian Sackree, and Caroline Killeavy.

Opening_YMCA_Nomad_Centre_Lincoln

The Lord-Lieutenant Toby Dennis officially opened the Centre

It was impressive to see the great and good from the community supporting the centre. Equally moving was the support of those who had stayed at the previous shelter, those who had come through the system and now had established themselves in society.

Official_Opening_YMCA_Nomad_Rooms

A ribbon was cut to officially open the bedroom provision

The Future

Tomorrow looks a little brighter in Lincoln for those in desperate need of somewhere to lay their heads. There is now a place where the lonely and forgotten can find a warm meal, a bed, safety and privacy.

Perhaps next time we walk past someone on the street without a home, we will stop and show our care too.

YMCA_Nomad_Centre_Staff_Photo

The YMCA Nomad Team


The Photographer For You

If you are looking for a professional photographer to cover your event or document your story, get in touch for a no-obligation chat about your requirements: