Glasgow council launches UK’s first Alliance to end homelessness

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Credit: Andrea Popa

Sam Doak
Reporter

The council plans to work with service providers in the third sector to improve the city’s problem with homelessness

Glasgow City Council has announced the launch of the UK’s first Alliance to End Homelessness. Under current plans, Glasgow’s Health and Social Care Partnership (GHSCP) will work with third sector partners and service providers towards improving services available to both the city’s existing homeless population and those at risk of homelessness. By the end of this year service providers will be invited to apply to join the Alliance which will reportedly work towards combating homelessness in Glasgow over the next seven to ten years.

As well as recruiting partners among service providers and third sector groups, the Alliance will reportedly seek input from those who have personally experienced issues related to homelessness. According to the council, such individuals have already been involved prior to Monday’s announcement, having been invited to take part in consultations regarding the formation of the Alliance. Their future involvement with the Alliance is set to continue as such groups will be invited to consult on and evaluate bids submitted to the Alliance by prospective partners.

The GHSCP is jointly managed by the National Health Service and the City Council. The purpose of this arrangement is to facilitate greater integration between the services provided by both public bodies. Under current plans, the Alliance will be responsible for finding funding for services to combat homelessness and will receive its budget from the GHSCP. According to a report submitted to the Partnership’s Integration Joint Board, a budget of £23 million has currently been earmarked to fund the work of the Alliance.

According to figures from the Scottish Government 5,204 applications were received by individuals claiming to be experiencing issues related to homelessness within the city between 2017 and 2018. In July 2018 it was revealed that over a one year period the City Council had breached its statutory duty to provide temporary accommodation to the city’s homeless population in over 3,000 separate instances.

The current Chair of the Partnership’s Integration Joint Board, Councillor Mhairi Hunter, provided comment on Monday regarding the announced plans: “This is a really innovative and exciting development. We are taking a leap into uncharted territory here, but we need to develop new approaches to tackle this complex social issue. There is nothing of this type in the UK.

“Glasgow will be leading the way by formalising arrangements with partners to make best use of the resources available”.