Homeless services face £2.6m cut in Glasgow losing 99 beds

Evening Times, by Stewart Paterson
07.05.19

HOMELESSNESS services in Glasgow are to be cut by more than two and a half million pounds.

The decision to axe £2.6m, from October this year, is expected to be approved by the Glasgow City Integrated Joint Board, tomorrow.

It means that third sector organisations that provide services and support for homeless people in Glasgow have been told they will likely need to cut jobs.

Those currently living in accommodation provided by the services to be cut will be moved to Housing First.

The IJB said that previous experience of decommissioning the Clyde Place hostel and supporting people through Housing First has had a “significant positive impact for service users”.

The board however, also admits: “It is recognised there are risks associated with implementing these savings proposals including a reduction in available purchased service bed spaces and reduction in capacity within day service provision and specialist outreach support services to better reflect service demand.”

The cuts affect organisations like the Simon Community, Scottish Association for Mental Health, Talbot and the Marie Trust.

The Simon Community will face the biggest cut with almost £830,000 withdrawn from its funding across two projects in Glasgow.

More than £550,000 is being cut from its Newlands resettlement and its mental health outreach projects.

Another £271,000 is being taken from its Tollcross project.”

SAMH will lose more than £650,000, while Aspire will see a loss of almost £500,000.

Penumbra, which offers mental health support, will lose more than £400,000.

Talbot will receive a cut of more than £300,000 and the Mungo Foundation will lose more than £221,000.

YPeople and Marie Trust will lose £100,000 each.

In the report, Susanne Millar, chief social work officer, said: “ There are significant budget and personnel implications for homelessness purchases service providers in relation to the identified savings proposed in this report.”

She said the cuts were due to take place on October 1 this year, giving organisations time to “minimize the impact on their affected workforces and absorb such impact through natural turnover”.

An assessment said 99 beds will be affected over nine residential services, four centres for men, four for women and one mixed facility.

However, it states they are “no longer fit for purpose or fully meet the needs of the individuals within them”.

Sean Clerkin, homelessness campaigner, petitioned MSPs at Holyrood for more cash for homes and services for homeless people.

He said: “This is a callous cut to the homeless. It will be a catastrophe for Glasgow and will mean more rough sleeping on the streets.

“My petition called for front loading of money to Housing First to fund the services that are now being cut.”