LIVES will be put at risk if the decision to cut the homeless support services budget in Glasgow goes ahead, it is feared.

Last week, the Evening Times reported the council and health board’s Integrated Joint Board would be axing £2.6m from services across the city.

A total of ten projects from eight organisations will have their funding withdrawn later in the year.

It will see facilities that house homeless people closed, services removed and jobs put at risk.

The cuts come as the council said it is moving towards a Housing First approach, where people are given a tenancy with the support they need to deal with other problems they have in order to help them live in their own home.

The IJB said the people affected by the cuts will have “move on plans created” which will “primarily consist of Housing First with intensive support”.

Housing First has already started in Glasgow with 64 people taken from a hostel and given tenancies though Wheatley Group and funding from the Social Bite charity.

The model has the support of housing providers and homeless charity groups, with the potential to turn lives around widely recognised.

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However, there are concerns that Housing First is being used in this case as an excuse to save money and the affected services are still needed given the level of demand.

One housing campaigner, who was part of a Scottish Government group to advise on tackling homelessness, says Housing First cannot justify this level of cuts to vital services.

Mike Dailly, Principal Solicitor at Govan Law Centre, said Housing First was intended to be in addition to current services and has urged a rethink.

The organisations affected, which have decades of experience dealing with homeless people, include Simon Community, Aspire, Talbot Association and SAMH.

The Talbot Association provides accommodation and support for homeless people with complex needs.

It is having more than a quarter of a million pounds cut from a service in the west end which will be closed down.

It provides 17 spaces for temporary supported accommodation and has operated in the area for the last 40 years.

A spokesman for the Talbot Association said: “It is quite an anxious time. We were only made aware of this a few weeks ago and it came as a bit of a surprise. There has been talk of cuts for a few years but this was out of the blue.

“This means one of our services, in the Kelvinbridge area, will close. The people who use the service will be moved on by the council and we will hopefully be able to redeploy the staff elsewhere.

“There are 17 residential supported accommodation places.

“We have been open for 40 years and have been successful in supporting people and helping them move on to their own accommodation.

Read more: Homeless services in Glasgow to be cut by £2.6million

“We help people who are homeless with complex needs. The average is 6-9 months then the aim is to be moving on and we are fairly successful in doing that.”

Almost 100 spaces that offer support for homeless people will be axed as a result of the decision.

As IJB assessment stated the affected 99 spaces were “no longer fit for purpose or fully meet the needs of the individuals within them”.

However, the Talbot spokesman said this assessment cannot be applied to its service and that a distinction has to be made between funded organisations and some private providers where standards are not as high.

Speaking about the Kelvinbridge service, he said: “It is a service that has worked over the years and it runs at full occupancy.

“The building is modern and has been upgraded and it is in one of the best parts of the city.

“It is more than fit for purpose, the accommodation is as good as you will get. It is a high standard. It is not like some of the private providers you may hear about.”

Aspire provides emergency accommodation and housing services in a number of locations.

It accommodates people for between six months to two years in a resettlement service before people move to a permanent home.

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The people sign an occupancy agreement and are responsible for managing their own rent, council tax and bills.

They have a number of locations across the city but its service in Partick is being axed with almost £300,000 being withdrawn.

The service, which provides self-contained bedsits with communal kitchen and laundry facilities, has been open since 2001.

Another £200,000 is being cut from its service in Ibrox.

Mr Dailly said these are the type of services that are still required in the city given the level of homelessness.

He said: “It’s going to put in jeopardy the lives of hundreds of vulnerable people in this city. If this decision goes ahead it is not just reckless, it’s incompetent.

“We don’t have enough provision in the city just now, so taking 100 beds out is just crazy.

“Housing First is like tackling the tip of an iceberg, it’s expensive and very low volume.

“If this goes ahead there’s going to be a humanitarian crisis in Glasgow . There’s going to be hundreds of people put at risk, people have died on the streets of Glasgow.”

He added: “I served on the recent Scottish Government strategy group to eradicate homelessness in Scotland.


Our recommendations were meant to be in addition to the services already being provided, not a cheap substitute.”