HOMELESSNESS at any time is a serious problem, but at this time of year it is particularly distressing.

The drop in homeless applications to the council can only be good thing and is a sign that services are becoming better prepared to deal with cases.

Still, though, almost 10,000 applications were made in the last year showing the problem continues to exist on a significant scale that requires constant attention.

For a variety of reasons people can find themselves in a situation where they have nowhere to live and they depend on the safety net of the state run services to get back on their feet.

Sadly it is the cuts to that very safety net which many fear will lead to a rise in homelessness in the next year, when welfare reform (ie cuts) take effect.

They have been protested against and challenged by many in the public sector and voluntary agencies working with the most vulnerable people in society, but the appeals have fallen on deaf ears.

The double whammy is that while individuals face benefits cuts which could lead to homelessness, the public sector which would be there to help is also being affected by budget reductions.

To ensure the homeless rate in Glasgow keeps falling is going to take an even greater effort than ever before.