Charities and politicians have said Glasgow’s homelessness strategy needs to be ‘completely overhauled’ after members of the city’s homeless population were been denied shelter following misconduct and clerical errors by staff.

Complaint logs showing issues formally raised with the council show hundreds of grievances raised by members of the city’s homeless population over the past five years.

Wrongful refusal and withdrawals of service, homeless people being ignored, as well as breaches of data protection, confidentiality and privacy, are just some of the incidents in which the council has admitted wrongdoing.

Since 2014, a total of 359 complaints have been logged with Glasgow’s homeless services. Of these, 145 were either upheld or partially upheld, with around half thrown out.

While nearly 6,000 people present as homeless to the council each year, meaning these complaints come from a minority of service users, serious issues continue to occur.

Examples of poor conduct and errors by staff include one person being placed in ‘overcrowded’ housing, with the council failing to find them a permanent home.

Evening Times:

READ MORE: Glasgow's temporary housing 'was like being in jail’

Several show workers failing to process homelessness referrals, preventing these vulnerable people from putting a roof over their head.

Clerical errors and information being recorded poorly has also led to people being denied housing.

Some homeless people were simply frustrated with the unacceptable amount of time taken to acknowledge or further applications, or with the attitude with which they are treated by members of staff.

Other complaints show individuals being left without a staff worker to support them, and are not offered temporary accommodation in the first instance – an ongoing issue which will now see the council taken to court over reported failings in their operation.

Additionally, some allegations of staff lying to homeless individuals during their process have also been found to be true.

Also included in the council’s own complaints log was an incident of racism which remains unresolved – years after the original complaint.

Evening Times:

READ MORE: Reality of abuse and violence facing Glasgow's homeless population revealed

The city’s politicians say these figures show the ‘hugely damaging’ impact on those using the council’s homelessness service.

Glasgow Labour MSP Pauline McNeill said: “There needs to be an acceptance that the crisis in homelessness is getting deeper and more acute and the current service is not fit for purpose.

“There is a failure at every level. We do not have enough quality accommodation or enough staff with experience of homeless people. The acute impact of all of this on homelessness people is hugely damaging.To most people presenting as homeless to the council is a last resort and people are finding that despite there being laws in place to safeguard them, in Glasgow they are not being adhered to. This cannot go on in our city.

“Glasgow are not going to be able to plan their way out of this mess unless they accept how deep this crisis is.

“A short, medium and long term plan is needed. Rapid rehousing and other housing options will not work for everyone and it cannot mean that other parts of the service are allowed to fail whilst we are waiting for new housing option to kick in.”

Charities supporting those going through the process of being rehoused say this exemplifies the strain council staff are currently under to deal with the thousands of homeless applications in the city each year.

Evening Times:

READ MORE: Warning as Glasgow homelessness services to be cut by £2.6m

Graeme Brown, director of Shelter Scotland, said: “While this complaint log makes grim reading it will be just the tip of the iceberg of the number of people given an inadequate service by Glasgow City Council.

“While we know there are many dedicated and caring people working for homelessness services the fact is it is under increasing strain as the impact of Scotland’s housing emergency is felt in the city.

“In addition, the underlying problem – a shortage of permanent social homes for people to move into – leads to a bottleneck in temporary accommodation and people offered poor services or no service at all.”

“Glasgow City Council’s homelessness strategy needs to be completely overhauled.”

Local politicians have now called for the city government to bring a full report on the ‘homelessness crisis’ to the city council.

Green councillor Tanya Wisely, group spokesperson for health and social care, said: “These figures are deeply concerning, not least as the number of reported complaints is likely to be an under-reflection of dissatisfaction with homelessness services given the extreme vulnerability of many of those who are engaged with them.

“Major concerns over homelessness services have also been highlighted in successive Audit Scotland reports.

“The SNP administration should bring a report on its response to the homelessness crisis to the next Full Council.”

A spokeswoman for Glasgow’s Health & Social Care Partnership (GCHSCP) said: “Our staff appreciate that the prospect of homelessness is extremely distressing for people.

“The health & social care partnership is not responsible for people losing their homes – our staff are the people striving to help service users pick up the pieces and rebuild their lives.”