Blog: Reaching out in Glasgow
Shelter Scotland helps over half a million people every year who are struggling with bad housing or homelessness, but we’re always looking to do more to make sure that people know they’re not alone in the fight against bad housing and homelessness.
Many people across Scotland can’t, or for a variety of reasons don’t, access the help they need. For some, navigating services can be frustrating and complex. For others, they’re perhaps unaware of the help we can offer.
As part of our efforts to increase our accessibility and visibility in communities across Scotland, last week we launched our first ever pop-up street clinic! Our dedicated advisors, who go out of their way every day to make a real difference to people’s lives, took to Sauchiehall Street to offer free housing advice on everything from rent arrears to homelessness.
The event was a huge success and our team were able to work with 84 people in just one day! Our advisors spoke to several people who were running into difficulties with private landlords, they met people who were struggling to cope with their housing costs and others who were unable to secure emergency accommodation for the night. Our advisor Erica – who had a key role in planning the clinic – even helped a young woman who was expecting to sleep rough that night by ensuring she had somewhere safe and warm to stay.
Not only was the team able to help so many people with their housing problems, it was a great opportunity to get involved with the community and to interact with people who perhaps didn’t know that Shelter Scotland could help. Whether you’re facing rent or mortgage arrears, in need of resolving a problem with your landlord or are living in poor quality housing, Shelter Scotland can help. Our presence on the street enabled us to tackle the common misconception that we only help street homeless people.
The success of the clinic reaffirms what we already know – that there are many people who simply can’t, or don’t, access the services they need to help them through their housing crisis. Whatever the reasons are for people not seeking our support, we know we must find new and innovative ways of reaching those that need our help so we can stop them from falling through the cracks.
We will look to run another clinic in Glasgow in the near future, and we will be arranging further pop-up clinics across our other Hub cities – Aberdeen, Dundee and Edinburgh. This will complement our existing work in these areas to ensure that no one has to tackle their housing issues alone.
For online help visit us at: shelterscotland.org/getadvice
For help on the phone, call our national housing advice helpline on 0808 800 4444. Calls are free.
- Paul Bradley is from Shelter Scotland