Salvation Army hails Witham Lodge rehoming rate success

Residents of Witham Lodge enjoying a social day in Skegness.
Residents of Witham Lodge enjoying a social day in Skegness.

THE Salvation Army’s Witham Lodge facility in Skegness helped to rehome 93 people last year, it has revealed.

In 2011 the lodge helped to provide temporary accommodation for 104 clients - a phenomenal 89% of whom found permanent accommodation off the back of the Salvation Army’s efforts.

In a statement last week the charity said the new figures showed that the lodge was a “lifesaver everyday”.

The Lodge has sparked occasional controversy in the past, with some residents in and around Alexandra Road accusing the site of being linked to some of the area’s antisocial behaviour.

But these claims have been strongly refuted by other locals in the past, who have praised residents’ for their work in the community.

And the latest figures are sure to provide the lodge and its residents with a welcome boost.

One of the lodge’s success stories is that of 42-year-old Simon Myers, who came to the centre exhausted after walking 100 miles in confusion and traumatised by the sudden death of his son due to a rare health condition.

Simon, who embarked on the epic journey to be closer to his surviving son in Skegness, was found his own permanent home after spending 18 months with The Salvation Army at Witham Lodge Lifehouse, where he was helped with cooking and budgeting skills and ultimately regained his confidence.

George Hockings, centre manager at Witham Lodge Lifehouse, said: “Simon’s story is typical of many of the homeless people that come to us to seek refuge, help with addictions, to learn basic life skills, regain their self-esteem and confidence and ultimately find a home of their own.

“Helping people like Simon demonstrates our belief by changing people’s lives within communities for the better.

“We have a comprehensive ‘Life’ programme here which concentrates on subjects such as feelings, dignity, personality, privacy and rights.

“We also have a six-week resettlement programme which also looks at citizenship, spiritual reflection and safety in the home.

“For many people who come through our doors Witham Lodge Lifehouse is their home but the ultimate aim is to help people rebuild themselves, find their own accommodation and live independent lives,” he added.

As well as the lodge’s ‘Resettlement’ and ‘Life’ programmes, residents are also offered a welfare programme which includes advice on sexual health, smoking cessation, healthy eating, dental hygiene, budgeting and interview preparation.

Residents at Witham Lodge Lifehouse also form The Hope Volunteer Group, who carry out a variety of activities to benefit the community. These include clearing the coastal paths of sand, gardening and helping out at the local nature reserve.

The news of Witham Lodge’s successful rehoming figures comes ahead of Homelessness Sunday, a national campaign to raise awareness of the plight of the UK’s homeless.