At the end of February, town and district councillor Jill Makinson-Sanders told the Leader that she had found a man, wrapped in a blanket, and sheltering in the doorway of a shop in Mercer Row.
Jill said: “He told me he had no home, and was from Skegness. I asked if he needed help and he said ‘yes’.
“He was drinking coffee, obviously bought for him.
“I duly rushed home and reported this to the Rough Sleeping team. It transpires he does have a home in Louth, provided by ELDC.
“He is, however, begging daily. Kind Louth people are giving him money for food and drink which encourages him to continue.
“The Rough Sleeping team want people to stop, and are pulling out their hair at how they get the message over.”
“Basically I guess it’s fraudulent and we should let them sort his problems out.”
Following enquiries from the Leader, an ELDC spokesman said: “We would advise anybody who is concerned that somebody is at risk of sleeping rough to contact us to make our Rough Sleeping Prevention team aware.”
The spokesman continued: “Our teams will establish the circumstances in each instance and ensure that the most appropriate support is offered.
“We understand it can be difficult to know how best to support somebody who is begging. There are occasions when individuals who are begging are not rough sleeping.
“Even when that is the case, it does not mean that those individuals are not vulnerable and we work closely with our partners to find the most effective ways in which to engage, offer support and if necessary to take proportionate enforcement action.
“It is important to remember that no two cases will be the same, and we would advise that we are notified to enable us to offer the right intervention relevant to each case.”
Jill said that the Rough Sleeping team does an ‘excellent job’, adding: “As I found out for myself when I contacted the team over a weekend things are not always as they first appear. There is usually a back story. The team are aware of this.
“My advice is please ring the team rather than encourage begging. You could be doing the recipient more harm than good, even though your intentions are exemplary.
“Please keep giving to our food bank and the Trinity Centre. We can only solve these problems by working together with the experts!”
Meanwhile, a Lincolnshire Police spokesman said: “We are aware of this and we are looking into it with partner agencies.
“As a general rule, our advice would be that people do not offer money to anyone on the street and instead make a donation to a registered homeless charity.”
The police could not offer any further comment while the investigation is underway.