New homeless access hub will be a game-changer
It has the ambiance of a boutique hotel – but it is actually in the business of transforming homeless people’s lives.
A group of Scottish charities got together to create a mould-breaking means of providing help and support to those who find themselves on the street – or are in danger of doing so.
Launched by Deacon Blue stars Ricky Ross and Lorraine McIntosh, the brand-new multi-agency advice and support hub is a place called dignity.
Fitted out in cool colours, contemporary furniture and designer lighting, the Access Hub - in Glasgow’s Argyle Street – has been hailed as a game-changer which can transform the provision of services to homeless people.
The Access Hub, operated by the Simon Community Scotland, has been imagined to ensure that users feel their welfare is paramount and to make it much easier for people to get support.
On entering the city centre building, they will be met by a person rather than a reception desk.
The design brief was to make visitors feel special.
The hub has been designed so that staff from partner agencies will be able to meet clients, hot desk and share ideas and practice with fellow support workers.
People using the hub will be able to access a wide range of support all under one roof from expert providers. These include financial and legal support and advice, counselling and digital support as well as health and well-being services.
This ground-breaking initiative is expected to radically reshape the experience and impact for people at risk of, or experiencing, homelessness in Glasgow.
The hub has been set up in partnership with Glasgow City Health and Social Care Partnership, Glasgow City Mission, Marie Trust and Turning Point Scotland. Along with Simon Community Scotland, each are members of City Ambition Network, formed in 2015 to aid Glasgow’s most vulnerable and excluded homeless people.
Funding has been provided by the Robertson Trust, plus Glasgow City Mission, Bank of Scotland Foundation, Glasgow City HSCP, the Clothworkers Foundation and the Landfill Trust, along with Simon Community Scotland’s own reserves.
Simon Community Scotland chief executive Lorraine McGrath said: “Getting support should feel as good as possible - especially if you're having a really hard time.
“We have launched a beautifully-designed and welcoming space and service - so important for people who are facing extremely difficult circumstances. We wanted a space and service that feels good, calm and can even contribute towards healing.
“Getting support should be as easy as possible, especially if your confidence has been knocked, you're dealing with multiple pressures and you may be in poor mental or physical health.
“We're launching what we believe to be a different model of service, as a blueprint for the country.
“By coming together under the one roof many of the barriers to accessing critical services are removed and we are delighted to have the support of close to 20 organisations to make this ground-breaking project a success. The last thing anyone requiring support should have to do is negotiate various bureaucracies. The hub also doubles up as a great way for partners to learn from each other and work more efficiently in providing solutions for even the most challenging of circumstances.”
Lorraine McIntosh added: “Glasgow has always been a city with a huge heart and reaches out to support people in crisis. We're delighted to be supporting Simon Community Scotland in creating this amazing space providing a unified response to the challenges people face with homelessness.”