Don’t make homelessness a Christmas tradition, says Shelter Scotland

Shelter Scotland campaigners in Glasgow yesterday
Shelter Scotland campaigners in Glasgow yesterday

As the annual festive season accelerates toward fever-pitch, Shelter Scotland is warning that for many people in Scotland, Christmas and New Year will bring very little comfort and joy and that unless homelessness is fixed it will become an all too familiar and unwanted tradition.

On a specially staged Christmas scene on Buchanan Street in Glasgow yesterday, Shelter Scotland campaigners assembled a traditional setting of a dining table seemingly loaded with seasonal fayre – when in fact the food cloches hid uncomfortable facts about homelessness in Scotland.

More than 6,000 children will wake up without a place to call home this Christmas, more than 28,000 households were made homeless in the last year, and nearly 11,000 homeless households will be living in temporary accommodation. Every 19 minutes a household becomes homeless in Scotland.

Homelessness in numbers this Christmas in Scotland:

  • A household in Scotland becomes homeless every 19 minutes
  • More than 6000 children in Scotland will be without a permanent home of their own on Christmas day
  • 184,000 families in Scotland could be one paycheque away from losing their home
  • 28,247 households were assessed as statutorily homeless in 2016/17
  • 10,873 households were in temporary accommodation as of 31 March 2017
  • 3,250 homeless families in temporary accommodations either with children or a pregnant family member
  • 137,100 households are on council house waiting lists across Scotland

Alison Watson, deputy director of Shelter Scotland, said: “The festive season is a time of traditions, a time to remember others and enjoy the company of family and friends.  We want to remind people in Scotland that many families are not as fortunate as we are and will struggle to enjoy a traditional Christmas because they have no place to call home.

“Let’s not make homelessness a Christmas tradition. Let’s fix homelessness in Scotland and make sure that everyone has a warm, secure and affordable home, that a safety net exists for people who do lose their home and that no-one has to sleep rough on our streets at Christmas or at any time of the year.”

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