A NEW unit to devise strategies to tackle homelessness is to be set up in Glasgow

The city is one of three to be a base for the new Centre for Homelessness Impact.

The new Centre will analyse how to most effectively prevent and tackle homelessness and help policy-makers and those working with homeless people build evidence of what works in reducing homelessness.

The centre is being set up by Crisis and Glasgow Homelessness Network backed by funding from philanthropist Humphrey Battcock.

Experts at the centre will create a database of what is effective to steer investment into the most effective projects that have the greatest impact.

It will devise a set of standards for policy makers to improve decisions about the most effective interventions in people lives to prevent homelessness.

The Scottish Government set up a rough sleeping action group earlier this year in response to rising levels of people on the streets.

It recommended new winter shelter spaces for homeless people in Glasgow to help people in immediate need.

But it is also looking at devising long term solutions to help end homelessness completely

Kevin Stewart, Scottish Minister for Local Government said: “I am delighted to give my backing to this new Centre for Homelessness Impact.

“We have set out significant commitments to eradicate homelessness and rough sleeping in Scotland.

“That includes the formation of a Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Action Group, set up in October, backed by £50 million to drive change over the next five years.

“To meet these commitments we must use the power of evidence to ensure that we take actions that are going to really work, and do the most good possible for every pound spent.”

The charities who will be running the centre said getting the decisions right about tackling homelessness is crucially important to ensure cash invested is making a difference to people’s lives.

Margaret-Ann Brunjes, Director of the Glasgow Homelessness Network said: “It’s tough being homeless and, in all our different roles, it’s hard to be sure that what we decide and deliver is also what’s most effective.

“This Centre wants to help make that task easier and people’s lives better. This is an idea tested and now launching in Scotland but with real interest to the rest of the UK and beyond.

“I’m especially pleased to have the opportunity to support a uniquely qualified Board whose vast experience will guide and connect the Centre’s first steps”.

Jon Sparkes, Chief Executive of Crisis, is chair of the Government’s task force.

He said the unit will help ensure policies put in place in the near future have a long term impact on homelessness

He said: “Together, the homelessness sector helps many thousands of people each year but we still have a long way to go before we end homelessness for good.

“This initiative has the potential to develop the means to do just that by helping the sector to harness the power of evidence and data to improve the impact of our work and make a real step change.”