HOUSING and homelessness charity, Shelter Scotland, has today called for intensified efforts across Scotland to ensure no-one has to sleep on the streets as the snow sweeps the country and temperatures plunge.
Shelter Scotland is calling for:
1. No-one to be evicted from hostels unless they have somewhere to go.
2. Local authorities to coordinate all voluntary organisations to make sure they are working together to provide accommodation for homeless families and individuals.
3. Local authorities to make consistent efforts to find out where people are sleeping rough, make contact with them and help them find suitable accommodation.
Gordon MacRae, head of Communications and Policy at Shelter Scotland, said:
“It is important to remember that the people we see sleeping rough are just the tip of the iceberg. For every rough sleeper there are hundreds more in hostels and thousands more living in temporary accommodation.
“There are more than 35,500 homeless households – including 5,300 children – across Scotland without a home to call their own and tens of thousands living in cold, damp and often dangerous housing.
“Homelessness doesn’t discriminate – it could happen to anyone. Whatever the reason for their situation, as the winter weather kicks in and temperatures plunge, homeless people are some of the most at risk people in our society. We must make sure that those who are homeless or forced to sleep rough are not forgotten.”
Gordon MacRae added:
“We urge all councils across Scotland to redouble their efforts to make sure they continue to fulfill their responsibility to homeless people.”
Notes to Editors:
1. Shelter Scotland provides expert support services, online advice and a free national helpline for everyone facing housing and homelessness difficulties. For advice and support visit www.shelterscotland.org or call 0808 800 4444.
2. Spokespeople are available for interview – call the media office on 0844 515 2442. An ISDN line is available for broadcast interviews.
3. Follow Shelter Scotland on Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/shelterscotland Twitter – http://twitter.com/shelterscotland
Shelter Scotland believes everyone should have a home. We help people find and keep a home. We campaign for decent housing for all.
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Contact: Shelter Scotland