While the number of people sleeping rough within Glasgow remains unacceptably high, a lifeline accommodation service delivered by charities is due to reopen on Saturday 1st 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 vital service runs in partnership with a variety of partner agencies all of whom are determined to tackle homelessness in Glasgow.
Last year saw a staggering 597 individuals use the service on 3,839 occasions between December 1st and March 31st.
The Glasgow Winter Night Shelter will once again be located inside LHM's building at 35 East Campbell Street, off the Gallowgate and near the Barrowlands Ballroom, G1 5DT. Doors open at 10pm from December 1 to March 31 including Christmas and New Year.
After a safe night’s sleep in warm surroundings, breakfast is served. Guests are informed of the support services available across the city including Glasgow City Mission’s city centre project, Marie Trust, LHM, Simon Community Scotland’s London Road drop-in and Rough Sleepers Vulnerable Persons (RSVP) street team.
Crucially, Glasgow City Mission’s trained staff and volunteers seek to understand the underlying reasons for each person being homeless and connect people to Glasgow Health & Social Care Partnership homeless casework team for a homeless application to be made.
Legal advocacy will be provided by lawyers to challenge accommodation decisions where they believe people are entitled to accommodation but are being denied this by the local authority.
Where guests also have health issues that need addressed, each morning a nurse will be present, from nearby NHS Hunter Street – a specialist clinic for people affected by homelessness and do not have access to a G.P.
Funding for the service is met by many of the partner organisations involved in the running of the shelter, plus housing associations and fundraising undertaken by Glasgow City Mission.
A new funding commitment from Rangers Charity Foundation will ensure the night shelter can continue to stay open for the month of March, an extra month on traditional arrangements.
Meanwhile the HOPE Foundation, the charitable arm of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons in Glasgow has also made a fresh grant of £10,000 to tackle the associated health inequalities experienced by homeless people in the city. Julie Forster, HOPE Foundation Manager said: “We are delighted to be able to support the Winter Night Shelter this year – a project that demonstrates the compassion and care that is at the heart of HOPE Foundation’s mission though bringing down barriers to quality healthcare for those most in need”