Winter Night Shelter Opens its Doors as Temperatures Drop

Tue 1st December 2015

Person sleeping on street

Glasgow City Mission’s Winter Night Shelter has now opened its doors for 2015, providing vital accommodation for Glasgow’s rough sleepers over the coldest months.

The shelter will stay open until March 31st – a full extra month than normal due to the support of the Rangers Charity Foundation and the hundreds of supporters sleeping out at Ibrox overnight in December in support of the project.

The Shelter, which is operated by our Community Partner Glasgow City Mission along with more than a dozen partner agencies, will be based this year at Lodging House Mission’s premises on East Campbell Street. 

After a safe night’s sleep in warm surroundings, breakfast will be provided for the service users who are also given information on other support services available across the city, including Glasgow City Mission’s city centre project. 

Crucially, trained staff and volunteers seek to understand the underlying reasons for each person being homeless and connect people to Glasgow City Council’s Hamish Allan Centre where homelessness applications are made. 

Where service users also have health issues that need addressed, staff can refer them to nearby NHS Hunter Street  – a specialist clinic for people affected by homelessness and do not have access to a G.P. 

Now in its sixth year, demand for the service is expected to remain high.  Last year, 407 individuals benefited from the night shelter during the three months of its operation – a 10% rise on the previous year. Many reported how thankful they were for the service being there for them in their time of need.

‘Peter’ (not his real name) used the night shelter last year. He told staff he preferred to be called by his nickname, commenting: “I’m a street boy.  I don’t deserve to have a name.  If it wasn’t for this place I’d have killed myself.  For the first time in my life I feel like there’s people that care about me.”

Grant Campbell, Chief Executive, Glasgow City Mission commented, “We believe no one should ever have to sleep rough on our city streets but sadly we know from experience that this occurs all too often.  During the harsh winter months, it is simply too cold and too dangerous for some of our most vulnerable citizens. 

“Critically however, we want to address the root causes and secure lasting help for people in the form of a sustainable housing solution.  

“We’re pleased to be able to offer a range of enhanced services this year.  Funding from the Rangers Charity Foundation is not only allowing the duration of the project to be extended by an extra month but is also paying for legal work to take place in the event that service users are refused accommodation or have been unfairly evicted by their landlord. 

“We are particularly pleased about being able to stay open for longer. Every year, service users, staff and members of the public complain when we have to close on March 1st when fresh snow is still falling.”

Connal Cochrane, Manager of the Foundation, added, “We have over 240 fans taking part in our 3 Sleep Outs at Ibrox in December, with profits from the event supporting our partnership with Glasgow City Mission.”

“It’s safe to say our supporters have wholeheartedly backed this cause and we are delighted by the charitable spirit being shown to such an important service.”

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