A lifeline accommodation service for Glasgow’s rough sleepers is due to reopen on Monday 1 December.
The Glasgow Winter Night Shelter will provide basic emergency accommodation for those with nowhere to sleep but the street. Operated by Glasgow City Mission, the service runs in partnership with more than a dozen partner agencies all of whom are determined to tackle homelessness in Glasgow.
After a safe night’s sleep in warm surroundings, a light breakfast is served. Service users are informed of the support services available across the city including Glasgow City Mission’s city centre project, before being transported to Glasgow City Council’s Hamish Allan Centre where homelessness applications are made.
High demand expected
Now in its fifth year, demand for the service is expected to remain high. Last year, 358 individuals benefited from the night shelter during the three months of its operation. In recent weeks, we have seen an increase in people seeking their help having found themselves homeless and not being accommodated.
Grant Campbell, Chief Executive, Glasgow City Mission said:
“The harsh winter weather can be life threatening for some of our most vulnerable citizens. Together with our partners, we want to provide a safe, warm and welcoming space for those who are forced to sleep rough in the city.
“Critically however, we want to secure lasting help for people in the form of a sustainable housing solution. We’ve found that not everyone knows how to access statutory homeless provision. Others have had difficulties accessing it. With our advocacy and that of our partners, we’ve managed to get people into housing by connecting night shelter patrons to the local authority”.
Improvements to homelessness application process sought
The success of previous years’ Winter Night Shelters have led to discussions taking place between Glasgow City Council and night shelter partners to simplify the homelessness application process.
Grant says: “We have been encouraged that there is a desire within the Council to improve the process of seeking accommodation for those declared homeless. Many rough sleepers have incredibly complex needs yet the process for applying for housing is also incredibly complex. By working together, we’ve been able to recommend a number of improvements and simplifications to the process.
“Sadly there is still not enough suitable temporary and social housing in Glasgow which is the major underlying factor for rough sleeping in the city. Until more housing is built, services like the Glasgow Winter Night Shelter remain necessary. We would like to be in a position where there won’t be a need for it and would like to see this a reality by 2020” added Mr Campbell.
The Glasgow Winter Night Shelter is based at Renfield St Stephens Church Centre on Bath Street. Staffed by full time workers from Glasgow City Mission and a dedicated team of trained volunteers, the service will open its doors at 10.30pm every night from Monday 1st December.
Partner agencies include Turning Point Scotland, Blue Triangle Housing Association, Marie Trust, Glasgow Homelessness Network, Glasgow Housing Association, Glasgow Simon Community, Gowrie Care, Shelter Scotland, Police Scotland, Community Safety Glasgow, Salvas and Lodging House Mission.
The Glasgow Winter Night Shelter was a Finalist in The Herald Society Awards 2014.
Glasgow Winter Night Shelter – open every night from 10.30pm from Monday 1 December to 28 February. Located at Renfield St Stephens Church, 260 Bath Street, G2 4JP.