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10/10/19 09:47

Extra money to combat homelessness

Winter resources announced on World Homeless Day.

Homelessness is being targeted with £164,000 in extra funding this winter.

A range of programmes across Scotland will benefit, helping people especially during winter who are rough sleeping and often have backgrounds of significant trauma.

The funding is in addition to the significant amount of money which local authorities receive from the Scottish Government to support people experiencing homelessness. 

The money, from the Ending Homelessness Together Fund, will support:

  • flexible emergency funding so frontline workers can provide immediate help to people at risk of rough sleeping in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen
  • additional emergency beds for the Bethany night shelter in Edinburgh
  • an additional link worker for Edinburgh to support people moving through emergency accommodation into mainstream housing
  • information resources in other languages so people who do not speak English are made aware of the help available
  • support for rough sleeping outreach services in Ayrshire to meet the challenges of providing effective support in a rural area

The programmes build on the success of projects from previous years, a number of which are now being delivered year-round by local authorities in cooperation with third sector organisations, including the production of new resilience plans for crises like heavy snow.

Housing Minister Kevin Stewart announced the funding on World Homeless Day. He said:

“The truth is people experiencing rough sleeping will have backgrounds of significant trauma including domestic abuse, adverse childhood experiences, bereavement, mental and physical ill health and substance use.

“This extra support will help local authorities and organisations on the frontline working tirelessly to safeguard people in crisis with nowhere left to turn.

“Outreach workers will be able to spend more time building relationships with the people they see, concentrating on offering effective support which takes account of each person’s circumstances.

"The final goal remains ending homelessness altogether, however in the shorter term it is important we work hard this winter to provide the right type of support for people who are at risk of experiencing the worst forms of homelessness.”

Background

The Scottish Government’s Ending Homelessness Together Action Plan published in November 2018 says: “We will continue to support local winter planning. We will work with the group of practitioner experts convened in Autumn 2018 to develop an improved response to safeguard people sleeping rough, or at risk, in our cities and urban centres this winter, building on learning from Winter 2017-18.”

Local authorities have a legal duty to provide temporary accommodation to anybody they believe to be at risk of homelessness. However, some people may find themselves rough sleeping if they can’t access support at the right time, and some people have suffered such a degree of trauma that they find it difficult to seek out or accept support. This funding supports effective frontline outreach provision to join people up with the services which can provide long terms solutions to their housing and other support needs.

As in previous years, a monitoring regime is in place to ensure Scottish Government officials are aware of the situation on the ground and can respond flexibly if new needs are identified.

Funding breakdown

Intervention

Cost

Bethany Night Shelter

£35,000

Flexible emergency funding

£55,000

City of Edinburgh Council – link worker

£29,000

New peer-to-peer support for people with no recourse to public funds due to their immigration status

£30,000

Translate, print and publish basic information about rights and services available in a number of languages.

£5,000

Support for rough sleeping outreach services in rural Ayrshire

£10,000