Glasgow Winter Night Shelter opening date will remain unchanged
Glasgow City Mission has confirmed it is continuing to plan for the opening of the city’s Winter Night Shelter on December 1 after politely declining an offer for funding to open a week early.
The charity made the announcement following calls to open the shelter early after a man, who was believed to be homeless, was found dead inside a Glasgow city centre car park on Sunday.
Govan Law Centre (GLC) had offered to fund the early opening with a message on Twitter which read: “In order to stop Glaswegians dying in the cold we will pay for the Glasgow Winter Night Shelter @GCMcare to start a week early.”
While Glasgow City Mission said it was encouraged and delighted by the gesture made from Govan Law Centre, the charity said it isn’t planning to open early.
Glasgow City Mission said: “Having considered the situation, the reporting, and the social media response to the tragic passing of the gentleman in Glasgow on Sunday must maintain a longer-term view of the situation as it is, and are in the process of training teams, equipping the premises, and putting all that is required in place in order to run an efficient, welcoming, and safe shelter over the coldest months.
“We shall not be opening early but are grateful to GLC for their enthusiasm, passion, and commitment in this area.”
The Glasgow Winter Night Shelter, which opens for four months, takes a long time to plan and build up to annually, the charity added.
Duvets have been delivered to the night shelter and all the necessary supplies, such as mattresses and first aid kits, will be in place for December 1.
It also said that the night shelter staff training will take place this coming weekend and that it is delighted that its experienced and compassionate staff will be ready to help the shelter’s guests when the night shelter opens.
The charity said on its website: “Thanks to partnership working, we are seeing more guests each winter moving quickly into appropriate accommodation from the night shelter.”
Despite the decision to not open the shelter early, the charity said as a result of the recent cold weather it is also monitoring the temperatures in case there’s a requirement for an emergency shelter in the run-up to December 1.
Glasgow City Mission said that if this is necessary it will call upon previously trained staff and volunteers to staff these nights. The charity said it will ensure the proper procedures and fully trained staff are in place.
Charles Maasz, chief executive at Glasgow City Mission, added: “The desperately unfortunate passing of the gentleman found in Glasgow on Sunday evening has prompted a significant response around the subject of shelters and risk to life in cold weather. We are deeply sorry when any person loses their life on the streets of the UK.
“We are on course to be able to deliver the Glasgow Winter Night Shelter from the evening of 1 December. Pulling together an operation like the night shelter cannot be hurried without compromising on the service offered. We’re remaining focused on equipping our staff and volunteers and the equipping of the Lodging House Mission so we can run an efficient, safe and welcoming service for those in most need this winter.”
Mike Dailly from GLC said the law centre will instead support Positive Action in Housing’s winter destitution campaign with a £5,000 donation to help stop asylum seekers having to sleep on the streets in Glasgow.