Health and social care funding cuts exacerbate Glasgow homelessness
The Glasgow branch of Unison has called for more funding as the city’s homelessness crisis escalates, following £21 million in cuts to health and social care services.
Among these cuts, the Glasgow Alliance to End Homelessness suffered a £2 million reduction, and a hotel previously used for housing homeless individuals was decommissioned.
The aftermath of these cuts has brought a stark surge in the number of rough sleepers throughout Glasgow. Union members from UNISON recently lodged a collective workload grievance, citing their inability to keep up with the soaring demand. Not only are they witnessing an alarming increase in those seeking help, but the union members also report heightened work-related stress.
To compound matters, the Scottish Government recently pulled its Covid-related funds, previously intended to offset temporary accommodation expenses. This has intensified the pressure on an already stretched system.
Unison Glasgow social work convenor, Chris Sermanni, told The Herald: “The devastating impact of the cuts made to the HSCP budget has led to a homelessness crisis in the city.
“Demand for services has increased exponentially, and rather than funding increasing with demand, money has been taken away. This has led to a visible increase in rough sleepers across the city.
“Glasgow needs a significant increase in funding to address these issues. The increase in demand for services has not been matched with an increase in staff. Our members were already struggling with excessive levels of work, and are unable to cope with the sheer volume of numbers presenting for assistance.
“Consequently, we have lodged a collective workload grievance with senior management to address this. Our members cannot be expected to keep taking more and more work.”