Anger at plans to turn care home into homeless hostel

WEST End residents are furious at plans to turn a care home into a hostel for 40 homeless men.

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Burnbank House, which the council plans to turn into a hostel for homeless men.   Picture: Martin Shields
Burnbank House, which the council plans to turn into a hostel for homeless men. Picture: Martin Shields

The city council intends to move elderly residents from the care home in Burnbank Avenue to new accommodation in Possilpark.

Social work bosses then want the care-home building, which they own, to be used to meet the shortage of accommodation for men who have become homeless.

But local residents have started a campaign against the move.

Steven Bailey, chairman of Woodside community council, said: "The community has not been consulted about this proposal in any way.

"The homelessness service are saying it is going to happen, which is not consultation .

"We have significant concerns about the location of this homelessness unit because immediately next door there are vulnerable, elderly people whose welfare cannot be guaranteed, no matter what level of security or supervision is installed.

"There is significant concern in the community about it."

Mr Bailey said a protest group has been set up and a petition launched.

He added: "We are entirely sympathetic to the plight of homeless people but homeless units need to be in the right location and Burnbank Avenue is totally wrong."

Ashby McGowan, 58, a technician who lives in Napiershall Street near the planned hostel, is angry about lack of consultation.

He said: "My concern is they are doing this without telling residents and I don't believe it will be safe for people living in the area, many of whom are elderly.

"It is a shame these homeless people have gone through some horrible things but my concern is for the residents in this area."

Hillhead Labour councillor Pauline McKeever said she will raise local people's fears with the council.

She added: "There is a lot of anxiety because there are a lot of vulnerable people in the area and there are already issues of anti-social behaviour which the community feel are not being addressed.

"We do have a problem in ­Glasgow with homelessness but we need to balance that with the needs of the community."

A council spokesman said the homeless unit plan had been discussed with the community council and with local councillors.

He said a meeting will be held in the next couple of weeks to discuss it with residents.

The spokesman added: "There are currently significant pressures on the homelessness system … To help us the bridge this gap, we are looking at premises across the city that can help us meet the demand for homeless accommodation.

"These premises will be properly supervised by staff who work to a set of clear rules and have strong links with police and community safety services. The sad truth is that a great many people affected by homelessness are victims of economic or family circumstances.

Vivienne Nicoll's view: Page 14

Local government

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