HOMELESS people in Scotland are expected to benefit from the proven track record of a Glasgow charity as it expands to offer its expertise across the country.
Under its new name, the Simon Community Scotland is becoming a nationwide charity after almost 50 years of working alongside people who encounter homelessness in and around Glasgow.
The move means the organisation, which already supports more than 2,300 people each year, will now operate on a wider scale, helping even more people across Scotland.
It will now work to reach more people across Scotland by pioneering and sharing new knowledge, new responses, new accommodation models and new ways of helping people make positive use of their experience of homelessness.
First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, marked the launch of Simon Community Scotland today (25th February) by speaking at an event at Glasgow City Chambers.
More than 140 delegates from across the public, private and voluntary sector joined the First Minister to hear about the pioneering work being done and planned to improve the experiences of people who find themselves with nowhere to live and particularly those who struggle to accept the help on offer.
The organisation works to ensure everyone has a safe place to live and access to the support they need; pursues new ways of developing settled accommodation including shared living options; and collaborates with other organisations across Scotland to develop resources that stop people becoming homeless.
First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, said:
“I want as many people as possible to avoid the misery caused by homelessness and instead provide a stable platform for people to live in Scotland.
“We have the most progressive homelessness legislation in Europe in that everyone who is unintentionally homeless has a right to settled accommodation.
“We have also made legislative changes to ensure social care is accessible to people who are homeless.
“We have seen declines in homelessness in the last four years, partly because of a focus on providing better advice and support to people who are in danger of becoming homeless.
“We want to build on this and this is one reason why the Scottish Government is investing in affordable housing, together with measures to support the industry and help people into home ownership; these, in turn, will secure economic growth, promote social justice, strengthen communities and tackle inequality.
“The Simon Community has been working in Glasgow for nearly 50 years, providing a lifeline and critical support for people who experience homelessness, and it’s a pleasure to be here today to see it become a national organisation and help even more people across Scotland.”
The chief executive of Simon Community Scotland, Lorraine McGrath, said:
“We are very proud of our near 50-year legacy, of working alongside people who have nowhere to call home in Scotland through combatting the causes and effects of homelessness.
“As Simon Community Scotland, we look forward to collaborating more widely across the country, to share learning, test out new ideas and simply help more people find and keep somewhere safe to live, whatever their circumstances.”
Notes for Editor:
The Simon Community Scotland, formerly Glasgow Simon Community, has been working alongside people who experience homelessness in Scotland since 1966 and was formed on the same principles as the ground breaking work of Anton Wallich-Clifford in London during the early 1960s.
It now supports more than 2,300 people per year, with accommodation, personalised support and intensive outreach to prevent rough sleeping and provide assertive interventions for people who are highly vulnerable to complex needs and multiple exclusion.
Photography will be available from the event, immediately after the First Minister keynote address (circa 1030 hours) and Lorraine McGrath, chief executive, will be available for comment and interview.
Contact details: Lorraine McGrath, chief executive, 0141 418 6980, 07834471867, Lorraine.firstname.lastname@example.org
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Simon Community Scotland contact details…