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“Transforming the city’s approach to homelessness – and ending rough sleeping”

Joined the campaign: November 2016

Who’s involved?

The campaign in Glasgow is led by Homeless Network Scotland, one of the ten members of the Glasgow Alliance to End Homelessness. Other members are Aspire, Crossreach, Glasgow City Health & Social Care Partnership, Glasgow Homelessness Involvement & Feedback Team, The Mungo Foundation, Right There, Sacro, The Salvation Army, and the Wheatley Group.

What has happened so far? 

The city of Glasgow is vibrant and cosmopolitan but still faces issues of deprivation, ill-health, inequality and poverty, with the largest number of people sleeping on the streets in Scotland.  The City Council receives the greatest number of homelessness applications in Scotland – over 5000 each year.

In May 2019, Glasgow City Council issued a tender to establish an Alliance partnership which would work together with the Council to transform homelessness services.  As a result, the Glasgow Alliance to End Homelessness (GAEH) – the first of its kind in the UK – was established in February 2020. Representing a major shift from the traditional commissioner/provider relationship, Alliance members work together with shared responsibilities and a unified drive to make the changes necessary to improve outcomes and experiences for people at risk of or experiencing homelessness.

Together, they are working to end homelessness in Glasgow by 2030, with clear, agreed goals:

  • Prevent homelessness wherever possible
  • Prioritise settled homes for everyone
  • Reduce the scale of, and time people spend in, temporary accommodation
  • Deliver services that are person-centred, responsive and joined-up
  • Create a movement that involves the whole city and its people

Achievements so far. 

People with lived experience of homelessness and rough sleeping are equal partners in the Alliance, which recognises that they can’t solve this issue without them.  The Glasgow Homelessness Involvement & Feedback Team have equal leadership and decision making responsibility within the Alliance and use this platform to ensure that the voices of people using homelessness services are represented within everything the Alliance does.

Glasgow was one of five areas that took part in Scotland’s three-year Housing First Pathfinder.  Pathfinders led the way while learning how to scale up Housing First on a local authority-wide basis. The Pathfinder Programme is now finished but the national commitment to Housing First remains as part of local authority Rapid Rehousing plans, which are updated regularly.  The Scottish Government compiles the local data and publishes results and outcomes quarterly.[1]

Using World Habitat Innovation grants, two videos were created and launched to raise awareness and support the scaling up of Housing First more widely:

  • An animated video outlined the four key pillars of infrastructure that supports Housing First to branch out across the country: Housing First Connect; Housing First Know-how; Housing First Check-up; and the Housing First Academy.
  • Michelle’s Story describes the course her life took after spending her first night on the street aged 18 – and how Housing First can be a key solution to reducing and ending homelessness.

In 2021 the Alliance launched Get Help Glasgow to help people access information and support if they, or someone they’re concerned about, are rough sleeping or at risk of homelessness.

May 2022 marked the start of the Frontline Forum; a dedicated network to encourage connections and facilitate best practice across the city for frontline staff.

What’s next? 

The Alliance’s next focus is on redesigning Glasgow’s homelessness outreach services, based on Housing First principles, so that they feel like a single, joined-up service for those who use them. Other parts of the homelessness system in the city are scheduled for redesign later this year.


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