How to help people who are homeless this Christmas

Glasgow is a generous city, and never more so than at this time of year. Many people ask us how they can best help people affected by homelessness, so we have compiled a handy list of what does and doesn’t help.

What makes a difference

1. Take the time to talk

For a lot of our guests, Christmas can be a particularly tough time as they are isolated from their families and life has not gone well for them.  

As you walk down the street, make eye contact and say hello to people who are begging or sleeping rough. It might not seem like much, but it can make a big difference to someone who has been ignored all day. You could give out our ‘How you can help cards’ to connect them to our day time services and we have cards for the Glasgow Winter Night Shelter which is open until 31 March.

There’s more information about the cards on our online shop

2.Give the best Christmas dinner in Glasgow

A gift of £7 will provide a Christmas Dinner for someone struggling with homelessness, poverty or isolation in Glasgow. It’s always a brilliant night, and a great way to show our guests that God loves them and that the Christmas story – the gift of Emmanuel – is for them. And it helps us connect people to our daytime services designed to help them move forwards with their lives.

Find out more and make a donation

3. Apply to become a regular volunteer

We have an army of amazing volunteers, without whom our work wouldn’t be possible. Our work centres around relationships, and our regular volunteers are able to get to know our guests.

There’s a process for all potential volunteers to go through, which includes filling out an application form, an informal interview and taking up references. All of this takes time, which means we can’t accept one-off volunteers over Christmas.

Find out more about volunteering.

4.Pray for men and women affected by homelessness and poverty

Prayer makes all the difference. Please be praying for our guests over the Christmas holidays. Maybe you could pray every time you open your advent calendar or as you decorate your tree. We really appreciate prayer, and regularly update our website with our latest prayer news.

5. Buy an alternative gift

Looking for the perfect Christmas present? Make a real difference by buying an alternative gift from Glasgow City Mission. Or why not purchase a stunning piece of art, created by our talented art class?

You can order right up to and beyond Christmas but order Alternative Gifts by Tuesday 19 December to receive your gift card in time for Christmas. Art prints must be ordered by Friday 15 December to receive in time for Christmas.

6. Give as you live

Raise money for our work when you’re shopping online at no extra cost to yourself. Simply visit

What we’re unable to accept

Hats, scarves and gloves: We’re very grateful for people’s generosity and already have all of the hats, scarves and gloves which we need for this winter.

Clothes: We have very limited storage space and so can’t take in clothes. If any of our guests need clothes, we can take them shopping so they can buy new clothes and choose what they want. If you would like to help with this, you could buy vouchers for high street shops which we can use when we go shopping with our guests.

Sleeping bags, blankets and bedding: We now have all that we need for the night shelter, which we’re very grateful for.

Food: Thanks to people’s generosity, our food store is fully stocked for now. We have enough food to last us until the spring, when we will once again be looking for donations.

Volunteers for Christmas day: As we’ve said above, we use our regular volunteers over the Christmas period. Volunteer Glasgow lists Christmas options.

Toys: We have received all the toys that we need for our Child and Family Centre.

Shoeboxes: We’re not able to accept shoe boxes filled with items. 

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