Glasgow City Mission highlights importance of winter overnight welcome centre
A total of 401 people came through the doors of Glasgow City Mission’s Overnight Welcome (OWC), which ran from 1 December 2021 until 31 March 2022, new figures have revealed.
One of the aims of the winter project has always been to provide emergency accommodation to those at risk of rough sleeping, with as few barriers to accessing the service as possible.
People in this category were able to come directly to the hotel to receive accommodation or were brought by partner agencies.
In addition, the Glasgow HSCP referred clients to the hotel, where the staff provided their care. Of the 401 guests, 157 were allocated a bed by the HSCP and the other 244 came to the centre via partners or self-presentation at the door.
The mission employed 14 full-time staff, which ensured there were at least two staff members on duty at all times. In addition, 16 volunteers each committed to around three hours per week.
Some 96% of guests moved onto a positive destination, such as a temporary furnished flat, with family or friends, or they were able to return home. This would not have been possible without the support of partners such as the HSCP and Migrant Help.
The Housing Settlement Officers (HSOs) advocated for guests to make sure they received accommodation appropriate to them, helped them settle into their new accommodation and ensured they had all the support they required.
The OWC is emergency, temporary accommodation and the mission has stressed that it wants guests to be able to move onto suitable accommodation as quickly as possible.
However, for guests with multiple and complex needs, or for guests from overseas who have been refused asylum, it can be hard to find them anywhere to move on to.
Glasgow City Mission staff do not give up and work to find the best solution for the guest, even if it means they are with the mission for a long time. One lady stayed for a total of 46 nights before, through lots of partnership working, the staff were able to support her back into her original tenancy.
The service closed on 31 March and our HSOs continue to work with guests to help them flourish in their new accommodation.
A number of guests, for example those who have been refused asylum or have no legal right to remain in the UK, have no recourse to public funds and it can be particularly difficult to find them accommodation. With funding from the HSCP, the mission has created a new support worker role to work with these guests now the OWC has closed, to advocate for them and help them find accommodation.
Feedback from guests includes: “Thank you for the care and support you offered me during a very dark time of my life. You are kind beyond belief.” And, “Thank you so much for helping me and welcoming me in when I needed it.”