NEARLY 50 families have been re-homed by a project operating across four East Lancashire boroughs.

The East Lancashire Homeless Families project, hosted by Gateway, a part of The Calico Group, was launched in April 2019 and has since provided a roof for 48 families.

The project, which has been renewed for a further two years following a 100 per cent success rate among clients, provides accommodation for families who are homeless or are at risk of homelessness, supporting clients into their own accommodation.

One client, who wished to stay anonymous said: "I lived in a caravan in poor conditions with my young children and had to use the oven and blankets to keep us all warm. I spoke to the housing options team and was temporarily accommodated into a B&B.

"I was told to wait for a phone call the next day. The phone call came - there was a property I could move in to and call home temporarily.

"My support worker came and visited me every week and she honestly changed my life.

"I have since moved into my own permanent private rented accommodation. I honestly don’t have enough thank you’s for everyone involved to ensure me and my boys have a safe, warm place to live."

The service utilises housing through a number of properties provided by Registered Social Landlords Calico Homes and Onward Homes spanning Burnley, Hyndburn, Pendle and Rossendale.

Louise Jackson, Floating Support Co-ordinator, Gateway said: “We’re eager to build upon the fantastic work already achieved by this service and support even more homeless families as they strive to secure accommodation. With pressures on families continuing to rise as a result of the pandemic, this level of dedicated support is more vital than ever before.”

Recently, the project has witnessed a rise in referrals from families losing their homes through evictions, rent arrears, relationship breakdown, domestic abuse and mental health issues.

These and other difficulties have only worsened as a result of the pandemic with the latest Government figures confirming this, showing that the number of households with children becoming homeless increased by 28 per cent in England last summer alone.

If you or someone you know is homeless or at risk of homelessness, the service can be accessed through local Housing Options Teams in Burnley, Pendle, Rossendale and Hyndburn.