Over 4,000 children will be homeless this Christmas
Christmas won’t be a time of cheer for more than 4,000 children says a leading charity.
That’s the number of children who will be without a home this festive season according to Shelter Scotland.
The number is enough to fill the Scottish Parliament 32 times over, revealed the charity as it launched its 2014 Christmas campaign outside the parliament building.
As part of its appeal Shelter Scotland was joined by primary school pupils, campaigners and MSPs to decorate a tree with red houses.
The charity said a "chronic" shortage of affordable social housing is the root cause of the problem and it is calling on the government to build at least 10,000 new social homes each year to address the problem and begin to reduce long council house waiting lists.
Director Graeme Brown said: "It's completely unacceptable that in the 21st century 4,228 children in Scotland will spend this Christmas homeless - that's enough to fill the Scottish Parliament chamber 32 times over and equivalent to more than two homeless children for every primary school in Scotland.
"The temporary accommodation they are forced to live in is often poor quality housing where they can spend months or even years waiting for a home of their own.
"We need to see 10,000 new social homes built each year to tackle Scotland's housing crisis. That way, we can work towards a future where no child has to wake up on Christmas morning, or any other morning, in such awful circumstances.”
To help support Shelter Scotland, people can visit shelterscotland.org or text to SHELTER 70123 and donate £3 to support our work to prevent homelessness and give a child a warm, secure home when they need it - especially at Christmas.