The Glasgow Winter Night Shelter is now closed for another winter. It has provided a safe place to sleep, staff and volunteers have helped people feel welcomed and listened to, lives have been saved, and people have been helped into suitable accommodation.
Good partnership working between agencies, including having Glasgow City Council’s homelessness casework team based at night shelter five evenings a week, is helping our guests to get into suitable accommodation. For the first three months of the night shelter this year, 1 December – 28 February, we had more guests than the same period last year, but for fewer bed nights, and 245 people got accommodation during this period.
Closing on 31 March is never an easy thing to do, and each year we are asked why we don’t run a night shelter all year round.
There are a number of reasons.
We believe that running a night shelter all year-round would not tackle homelessness, but would just mask the problem. The Glasgow Winter Night Shelter is a temporary and emergency solution for the coldest winter months, and doesn’t provide a long-term solution for those who are homeless.
If we ran a night shelter year-round, there’s a risk that it would become an accepted norm rather than highlighting the scandal that homelessness is.
We want to see an end to homelessness through prevention and tackling root causes, and will continue to work with our partners to achieve this. Our work with the City Ambition Network and our Housing First Project are examples of this.
Read more about the night shelter in our latest Connect magazine. This includes statistics for the first three months of the night shelter. Statistics for the full four months of the night shelter will be available on our website shortly.