Plans submitted for night shelter for refugees in Glasgow

A night shelter for asylum seekers or refugees could open in Glasgow if plans are approved by the city council.

Glasgow Night Shelter has submitted a planning application for the new facility on the corner of Fairley Street and Carmichael Street.

The organisation said it urgently needs to move to a new building so they can also offer a safe place for women. Currently the shelter operates out of a church in the west end.

The Glasgow Night Shelter would be run by volunteers every night offering those who use the service food, shelter, clothing, advice and a community.

In a planning statement, the organisation said: “We have been looking for a suitable building for over a year and had been unable to find somewhere that met our requirements until now.

“The rent and cost of fitting it out are within our budget.

“The two-floor layout of the building will allow us to provide separate social and quiet spaces and a much needed secure women-only area. The current layout is open-plan and can be easily adapted to our requirements.

“As we work with vulnerable people, for security purposes our street-level presence has to be discreet. This is possible here thanks to the property being above the ground floor.”

Each night the shelter accommodates refused asylum seekers and homeless non-EU migrants.

Those groups use the service because their immigration status means they cannot access normal homeless services.

The organisation said there are about 3,000 asylum seekers in Glasgow. At any one time between 30 to100 are destitute. Most rely on other asylum seekers or refugees for support.

Destitution leads to greater levels of depression, poor mental health, anxiety and suicide.

Glasgow Night Shelter also argues there is currently no shelter anywhere in Scotland that will take destitute women asylum seekers who have been refused.

A decision is expected on the plans in March.

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