Shelter figures reveal shocking child homelessness problem

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Credit: Shelter Scotland

Hamish Morrison
News Editor

New figures released today by Shelter reveal the shocking extent of Scotland’s child homelessness problem.

According to these statistics, around 38 children in 2017-18 became homeless per day in Scotland. This is roughly equivalent to six or seven children in each school in Scotland.

The analysis published alongside the figures also claims that homeless families with children were spending more time in temporary accommodation than families without, by about 40 days on average.

Alison Watson, deputy director of Shelter Scotland said: “The sheer scale of homelessness among children in Scotland is damning on our society. For the equivalent of a class and half of schoolchildren to be made homeless everyday [sic] just isn’t right. The fact families with children then have to endure the limbo of temporary accommodation longer than other homeless households just compounds their misery.

“This has got to stop. We must find ways of supplying enough permanent accommodation for homeless families and individuals. At the heart of the problem is the acute shortage of housing. We need to build many more truly affordable homes of the right type in places where people want to live in order to fix our housing emergency.”

Shelter have reiterated their calls on the government to produce a comprehensive health and housing policy to combat the growing crisis.

The report also features testimonies from people who have experienced homelessness, such as Linda McDonald who lived in temporary accommodation in Glasgow for three years with her two children. She said: “I was terrified at the start. I was scared of the unknown. I had my son and my daughter as well and I was trying to do my best for them.

“I was somewhat of a nervous wreck when things were starting to happen that were out-with my control. I was just caught where I never thought I would be in that situation and it was sheer panic, sheer terror. Eventually when I started to understand what was happening I just said to myself this is how it’s going to be for a while.”