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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