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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

TFN is published by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6BB. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Registration number SC003558.

Charity says political leaders are ignoring it

This news post is over 1 year old

Claims both Nicola Sturgeon and Susan Aitken won't visit project

A Glasgow homelessness charity has criticised Scotland’s first minister for regularly snubbing it as well as the city's council leader.

Homeless Project Scotland says it has been reaching out to Nicola Sturgeon and Susan Aitken since it was founded in 2018 but invites have always been turned down.

The project feeds the needy in Glasgow and has become a vital source of sustenance to the city’s homeless population.

It serves upwards of 600 people with 1,000 hot meals a week under the Central Station tunnel on Argyle Street three nights a week.

Previously the charity has gone public with numerous invitations which it has sent directly to Glasgow City Council leader Susan Aitken as well as Nicola Sturgeon.

Its contention is that these high profile leaders are turning their backs on the desperate problems being faced by the homeless in Glasgow.

The project says its work is increasingly vital as a point of contact for homelsss people. Some 256 homeless people died in 2020 in Scotland, a near 20% annual rise - with more than half of the fatalities drug-related.

Through social media channels the charity wrote: "We have invited Nicola Sturgeon to visit our soup kitchen several times but unfortunately we have had a response from her private deputy private secretary saying her diary is too busy.

"Why can you not come see the suffering in Glasgow, who queue up for food every night 200+ ?”

However a spokesperson for the Scottish Government said: “The first minister regularly visits and engages with different organisations and groups across Scotland to help inform the Scottish Government’s efforts to tackle homelessness.

Cabinet Secretary Shona Robison also recently visited Homeless Project Scotland, and yesterday [13 July] visited Simon Community Scotland's Streetwork hub in Edinburgh.   

“We’re taking action to end homelessness in Scotland once and for all, and are working closely with Glasgow City Health and Social Care Partnership, including meeting with them every week to keep up to date with developments in the city.

“We are also working closely with local authorities to help them implement rapid rehousing and Housing First approaches, and are providing £52.5 million to support this vital work.”