Around 70 people took part in the first summit of the new Glasgow City Council administration, which focussed on homelessness and rough sleeping.
Chaired by Councillor Mhairi Hunter, City Convener for Health and Social Integration, the summit brought together a wide range of organisations involved in delivering homelessness support. Elected members, representatives from the housing sector and people with lived experience of homelessness were also present.
Participants heard presentations from Susanne Millar from Glasgow Health and Social Care Partnership, Billy Mitchell of Glasgow City Mission, Govan Law Centre’s Lorna Walker, Lorraine McGrath from Simon Community Scotland and Maggie Ann Brunjes of Glasgow Homelessness Network.
All attendees took part in workshops to reflect on the presentations and also to begin the work of delivering the council administration’s commitment to create a Rough Sleeping Taskforce.
All speakers at the event then participated in question and answer sessions with the Scottish Government’s Housing Minister Kevin Stewart and lived experience advocate Celeste Singleton.
Councillor Hunter said: “Rough sleeping is an issue that is causing great concern across the city. Rough sleeping indicates a real crisis in the lives of some of the most vulnerable people in our society. But rough sleeping is not just a housing issue.
“The summit was an opportunity to get a better understanding of the complex personal issues that can lead to rough sleeping. But it was also a chance to sit down with some of the leading organisations working on homelessness to hear what they think will provide solutions.
“There is a great deal of positive and innovative work currently underway within the city’s homelessness system. But to tackle rough sleeping we need to identify where improvements can be made and, to make this happen, we need to be informed by those closest to the problem.
“I certainly didn’t expect to have all the answers on rough sleeping by the end of the summit. But the summit has provided a starting point for our Rough Sleeping Taskforce. Working through the taskforce, I hope that the council and its partners can get a grip on rough sleeping in the long term.”