Glasgow night shelter to cut service on Tuesdays and Wednesdays

Hamish Allan CentreThe provision of services for homeless people in Glasgow is to be further depleted after a night shelter announced it is to close on a Tuesday and Wednesday night.

The city’s Hamish Allan Centre, where people are assessed for a bed, will cut back on its emergency out-of-hours services from next week.

Homeless people who turn up at the Tradeston-based centre will be expected to go to Glasgow City Mission, in Crimea Street, if it is before 11pm where they will have access to social work staff.

However, after this time homeless people will be asked to call a free, emergency number.

The move comes as Glasgow City Council gradually decommissions services at the Hamish Allan Centre as part of move to a new multi-agency hub.

Social workers and charity leaders have raised fears that the cuts could create a barrier to emergency help and lead to more people sleeping on the city’s streets, but Glasgow City Mission said the move “cuts out one step of the journey” for people.

Graeme Brown, director of Shelter Scotland, said: “We have been deeply concerned about the provision of services to homeless people in Glasgow for a long time.

“While we agree there needs to be change some of the planned changes are raising alarm bells for us.

“Winter is almost upon us and there is an urgent need for Glasgow City Council to put in place workable plans that ensure people can get emergency accommodation whether they have a working phone or not.

“People who have just gone through the trauma of losing their home must not then face barriers to accessing their legal rights to emergency accommodation and help to get a permanent, settled home.

“We appreciate that these changes are part of a pilot and that the council is attempting to make improvements but we would urge them to consider assessing the risk that this change will harm the very people it is supposed to help.

“In particular we would like reassurance that everyone who calls will be recorded and no-one will be turned away by phone without being given the opportunity to make an official homelessness application.”

Chris Sermanni, social work convenor for Unison Glasgow, said: “They have modelled this as a pilot saying Tuesday and Wednesdays aren’t particularly busy.

“We are certainly not convinced by this.

“We are concerned that this is Glasgow City Council moving services outwith council responsibility to the third sector or private sector.

“We have raised this with management and politicians and will continue to do that because we are not buying into it.”

Graham Steven, partnership and communications manager at Glasgow City Mission, said: “What’s happening, going forward is that they are putting a member of staff in our building.

“From our perspective it’s a positive thing as we will have people in our building who require to go to Hamish Allen Centre to be assessed.

“It cuts out one step of the journey for those people.”

A spokesman for Glasgow City Council said: “The move to a multi-agency hub will help us and a growing number of partners to deliver the right services, where and when they are most needed.”

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