Fife Council pledges to save homeless services from closure

Gilven House

Fife Council is to step in to protect homeless services at Gilven House in Glenrothes after a charity revealed that it is to withdraw from providing funding to the project.

The Scottish Christian Alliance service, which provides accommodation for vulnerable girls between 16-25, has 10 spaces for vulnerable women at its homeless hostel. But last month it revealed that it is to withdraw from providing its present service due to financial pressures. The charity said it is “working with other providers to ensure ongoing appropriate provision of the hostel and other services”.

It also said it has had to spend £120,000 in the past three years to plug deficits, and must “staunch the outflow of resources to avoid the charity as a whole from becoming insolvent and having to close”.

A spokesman said: “Basically time has run out and SCA must staunch the outflow of money – we are simply running out of money. “The exact timing of when SCA is withdrawing from providing its present services has still to be confirmed.”

The charity added that the option of taking over the building had been presented to other service providers and it appears that the local authority is willing to fill the void.

Councillor Judy Hamilton, convener for community and housing services committee, said: “Discussions with the Scottish Christian Alliance are at an advanced stage for the council to take over the management of the vital homelessness services delivered by the staff at Gilven House in Glenrothes.

“I hope this will bring to an end the speculation and uncertainty surrounding Gilven House over recent weeks since the Scottish Christian Alliance announced it would no longer be able to run these services. We are now seeking to bring these vital services for young vulnerable women in-house to protect both residents and staff, and avoid further anxiety about the future of Gilven.

“This move once again demonstrates our long standing commitment to reducing homelessness in Fife and John Mills, the council’s head of housing will shortly be bringing forward a full report on the position with Gilven House as progress is made.”