£109k to help homeless immigrants fly home

FUNDING in excess of £100,000 is set to be released for a scheme which helps homeless, out of work immigrants go back home.

The scheme, run by the Crime Reduction Initiatives (CRI) charity, funds plane and bus fares for rough sleepers who want to return home.

Boston Borough Council, South Holland District Council and Lincolnshire Police have successfully bid for the money to keep the project - known as the Reconnection Scheme - going in Boston and Spalding for another year.

Simon Sandland-Taylor, head of regulatory services at the borough council, said: “The Government-funded Reconnection Scheme in use in Boston this financial year has been an enormous success with 55 homeless migrants taking the option of a free one-way ticket home.

“They were unemployed, homeless, sleeping rough, some with health and medical problems, having lost appropriate official documents and caught in a cruel poverty trap thousands of miles away from help from family and friends.”

The pioneering scheme was launched in Boston last January following concerns raised by householders about anti-social behaviour, noise, rubbish and waste coming from illegal campsites.

The official agreements for the £109,000 to continue the scheme - made possible through the Government’s Migration Impact Fund - are due to be signed within the next couple of weeks.

Some of the funds will be used to employ field officers to go out with police beat teams to engage with anyone they find rough sleeping in the town centre.

Lincolnshire Police spokesman James Newell said: “It is hoped that the work this money will enable will have a significant positive impact on our communities and we look forward to working with our partners to make the best possible use of it.”