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The Invisibles keep on truckin.

 

 

As we gathered down at Cadogan Street last week after Volunteer McFarlane’s funeral a few days beforehand there was something of a hangover in the air.

 

Saying farewell to Michelle took its toll on us all but we will carry on and are determined follow through with her plans.

 

The announcement by a group of business people led by James Mortimer that they intend to drive beggars and homeless people out of Glasgow City Centre had riled Michelle and she wanted it pointed out that they are only a small representation of the business community within Glasgow.

 

Plenty others are supportive of the homeless within our city and a few donate to The Invisibles and keep us going throughout the year.

 

The Den’s Social Club are one such group. They’re a collective of businessmen and community leaders in and around Glasgow who have been kindly donating to The Invisibles in recent years.

 

Last week they donated another £500 that we used at Bonanza Wholesale Fashions to buy a few more boxes of clothing stock to distribute to our friends on the streets.

 

 

We also have a new anonymous benefactor who has pledged a significant sum every year.

 

This man seeks no publicity and simply wants to help tackle homelessness within his city.

 

Just like the anonymous donors who pay for our website, storage facilities and stock. These are a better representation of Glaswegian business persons.

 

These new funds will allow us to grow as a group and perhaps take on new projects. We have a group meeting soon and will be formulating new plans to try and make a difference to our pals on the streets so keep an eye out on these pages for details.

 

In the meantime we would also like to take this chance to thank everyone who has shared our appeal for winter jackets online.

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Farewell Michelle

 

After a busy night helping our friends on the street tonight The Invisibles took a moment to remember Michelle ahead of her funeral on Friday.

 

Joined by her son and husband and friends Mel and Sheila from Help 4 The Homeless we lit candles and pyro to honour the woman who made our group what it is today.

 

We will do our level best to continue on her good work.

 

Goodbye, Michelle.

 

 

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RIP Volunteer McFarlane

 

 

We were devastated this morning to learn of the sad passing of one of our volunteers, Michelle McFarlane.

 

Michelle was a wonderful human being who championed for the downtrodden and was the biggest driving force behind our group.

 

She is a massive loss and we won’t be able to replace her.

 

We would like to take this opportunity to offer our condolences to the family.

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Wednesday Nights on Cadogan Street

Wednesday Nights on Cadogan Street

 

 

 

 

One of our friends appearing last week at Cadogan Street after a long absence served us with a timely reminder that nobody will be ending homelessness anytime soon.

 

The lady in question was back on the street after recently being evicted from her new Temporary Furnished Flat (TFF). However, this was not the first time, and won’t be the last, she has broken the rules set in place by the council and been sent back to the bottom of the homeless ladder.

 

She left us on Wednesday with some new clothes and a reminder that she would have to go to Shelter Scotland or Govan Law Centre the next day. Apparently, that day she had been rejected by the council for emergency accommodation because she had broken the rules of the tenancy on her TFF.

 

We told her she would now have to go to one of the above charities and get a lawyer’s letter reminding the council of their legal obligations and they would then have her in a hostel or B&B by the Thursday afternoon.

 

Some won’t go for help from a charity and drift toward rough-sleeping but to our knowledge our friend has never sunk to those depths and had a bed organised for the Wednesday night at least.

 

Thereafter she will have to live in a hostel for months or years before they give her a chance at a TFF again. This is the cycle many in the homeless community have been living in for twenty years or more.

 

Sadly, some people just cannot seem to live in normal tenancies and have become almost institutionally chained to hostels and B&Bs. Our friend is just one of a fairly large crowd of people with complex needs who go around using all the services in Glasgow and show little signs of ever being able to sustain a tenancy.

 

Then there are the rough-sleepers. Many of them have addictions so severe that living on the streets is the only way for them to survive. They beg for enough money to fix and then repeat the process all day and every day with brief interludes sleeping under a bridge or in a doorway at night.

 

Is Scotland ready to address that? Legalise drugs and end the criminality and have premises for addicts to administer their drugs?

 

Or, what do we do with the generation of people with complex needs who can’t live outwith the homeless system – hope they just die?

 

We don’t have the answers but just go along on Wednesdays to Cadogan Street and try to help who we can.

 

On Wednesday past we gave clothing to at least ten folks. No rough-sleepers were around that evening but there had been a spate of them in the weeks beforehand, and more will appear in the coming weeks as winter approaches and they get colder.

 

We see a variety of people every Wednesday. Most are going through the homeless system and living in hostels or TFFs but others are simply down on their luck. Our aim is to help everyone but rough-sleepers in particular are our focus.

 

The winter months are approaching, and this is when we are needed most. Sleeping bags and winter jackets are our most essential items and will be handed out in spades.

 

We’ll be there throughout the winter and bringing you updates on here. Like we were last year and will be next year and the year after that. Ending homelessness now sounds great but forgets those people on the streets today who aren’t ready for it to end.

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Thank you, Hoidy and co!

The Invisibles were grateful to receive a recent donation of £1000 from the Twitter user, @Hoidy.

 

Hoidy and a group of pals sold some pin badges in honour of a Celtic player and the profits raised all went to charity.

 

As well as our donation they also donated to the venerable Clinton Pringle Project.

 

We caught up with Hoidy to relay our thanks and he said: “I’ve been aware of The Invisibles for a while now and have always admired the work they do.

 

“I think it’s important that people look out for others in their community and having lived in the East End of Glasgow my whole life I’ve seen some of the damage homelessness can cause.

 

“I didn’t expect to raise half the money that we eventually raised and I think as well as the cash donation I would hope we helped to raise awareness too.”

 

Their donation will be used to buy essential items for the rough-sleeping community in Glasgow.

 

With the winter approaching and our service becoming more crucial to the rough-sleeping community we will be more active on the website and posting weekly updates – so be sure to keep an eye out.