Volunteers team up for homeless

AN army of volunteers is trying to stop homelessness in Glasgow.

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Peter Collison, Judi McDonald and Emma MacIntosh are trying to prevent homelessness in Glasgow
Peter Collison, Judi McDonald and Emma MacIntosh are trying to prevent homelessness in Glasgow

Around 80 people are giving up their time to run job clubs, family projects and community drop-ins in a bid to prevent homelessness.

They are part of the Bethany Christian Trust, which recently merged with the Findlay Family Network, to provide support to vulnerable people across the city.

In 2012/13 there were around 5000 homeless people in Glasgow, with roughly 31,000 throughout Scotland, according to official figures.

The trust recently led a sleep-out to raise awareness of being homeless and sleeping rough. Dozens of people gave up their bed for the night to sleep in the courtyard of the City Chambers.

Shirley Berry, who was organiser of Bethany's Big Sleepout in Glasgow, has been a volunteer for 20 years.

The 44-year-old from Maryhill said: "There are lots of reasons why people end up homeless. It could be down to being unemployed and not being able to keep up rent or mortgage payments.

"Sometimes it can be alcohol or drugs. Sometimes it is a family breakdown.

"Once people are in that cycle of homelessness it can be hard to get out of so we try to stop the cycle from happening in the first place."

Some of the trust's projects happening in the city include the north west family work in partnership with Findlay Church and Clay Community Church, and the Bugle Group for men - creative writing - in Govan in partnership with Norman McKay.

There is also the social enterprise women's group in the north west, two jobs clubs, one in Possilpark and one in Parkhead, and community drop-in groups, parent and toddlers and skills groups in the north west.

The group worked with 86 families last year in one programme, and they see about 100 people a month at the drop in clubs.



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