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Stock Update

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Due to the generosity of the Glaswegian public as winter begins in earnest, we must confirm that our storage unit is currently filled to capacity and therefore we cannot presently accept any further donations of clothing. As the weeks and months pass, these stocks will inevitably dissipate and we will once again be able to accept any donations you may have, but as this is a fluid situation, we cannot provide a set date as to when this will be the case.

Notably, the above news does not concern those donations which have already been arranged. However, for those of you still interested in donating clothing to help the members of Glasgow’s homeless community, we would encourage you to contact other organisations (such as Salt & Light and the Glasgow Drug Crisis Centre) as they may be able to accept your donations even if we cannot at this time.

Thank you again for your wonderful support and we wish you all a very Merry Christmas.

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Council Cuts and Homelessness

I first wrote on The Invisibles’ site some eighteen months ago. However, Councils have been hammered with more crippling cuts since then.

Regardless of where your politics lie, you should be well aware that every Council Cut not only affects the livelihood of the Council workers, but the most vulnerable members of our society.

Councils don’t just collect and empty bins once a week. They are social workers and the guardians for children in care; they are carers who provide assistance to the elderly and infirm in their own homes; they are the occupational therapists who will provide the adaptations to allow a disabled person to live independently and with dignity in their own home; they are the homeless services who many turn to when they find themselves without a home – need I go on?

Scotland sees the headlines about Council cuts but for some unfathomable reason, a minority can’t seem to accept the cuts to the above services are the same thing (at least, I pray its a minority).

Councils are a political pawn and I regularly see Council Workers terms and conditions of employment under scrutiny as some try to justify their political allegiance isn’t to blame – really Scotland, is this where we’re at? Its Westminster, its the Scottish Government, its the ‘whatever party’ run Council or is it also unfathomable that its all three?

Of course, we’d all do a better job. Goes without saying really.

Councils also provide funding to Scotland’s ‘Third Sector’ and there is a real fear how much funding they will lose as Councils struggle.  The voluntary sector provides invaluable support to many homeless people and families, grants from Councils and Central Government are essential to their service.

Homelessness – As I wrote in my previous piece, Council homeless Housing Officers/Caseworkers are fully aware of homeless legislation in Scotland and of the statutory duty to provide temporary accommodation, Housing Support and permanent housing – should you be assessed as unintentionally homeless with a local connection. With every cut to our service, the struggle to deliver this statutory service becomes more challenging. I might face a challenging job, but this is nowhere near the struggle anyone without a roof over their head faces.

The legislation being in place is great but there also has to be proper funding, without the funding, the legislation is useless.

I read a piece in the National Newspaper recently about homelessness in Glasgow and the statutory duty, the headline was ‘failing to meet legal obligations to the homeless’ – the article is, of course, 100% correct to highlight this and I hope it does raise awareness.

The article however offers no solutions and merely repeats homeless legislation from Scotland’s Homelessness Code of Guidance. There’s a few parts also incorrect – Councils do help people with no leave to remain in the Country and will always assist families with Children who have no leave to remain, there’s a legal duty under the Children’s Act.

The article also offered no insight into the plight of someone sleeping rough or the pressures on the homeless service itself. The National isn’t the first and certainly won’t be the last newspaper to do this.

There were 10,467 households in temporary accommodation as at 31 December 2015 – an increase of 249 households (+2%) compared with one year earlier. Over a quarter (2,769 households) were households with children – an increase of 278 households (+11%). On 31 December 2015, 4,876 children were in temporary accommodation – an increase of 543 children (+13%) – this is information on the Scottish Government’s own website.

Households in temporary accommodation are up, funding is down.

Councils do not cause homelessness but have the statutory duty to resolve it. With this is mind and the cuts to the service, we look to prevention.

As there isn’t enough social or affordable housing, many look to private rent. Housing is something we have full control over in Holyrood yet Scottish parties are voting against rent controls and regulation in the Private Sector – they are doing this in full knowledge that a lot of homelessness comes from the Private Sector – why?

Those with more complex needs such as addictions (and Methadone use) are, in my opinion, particularly vulnerable. Dr Neil McKeganey from the Centre of Drug Misuse Research was correct when he said its ‘a black hole into which people are literally disappearing’. Are we aware of how much this costs the NHS in Scotland every year? It is millions upon millions. Drug addiction is a life of hell that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. Someone with an addiction deserves better than an outdated multi-million pound programme that doesn’t work and sees them disappear down a ‘black hole’. Do not be so complacent as to think addictions only happen to other people or are born out of other issues, as I can assure you this isn’t always the case. I work with many who call it ‘green death’. This is yet another area Holyrood and Scotland has control over.

Addictions, poor mental health, relationship breakdown, job losses, debts and unscrupulous private landlords all lead to homelessness. These are issues most of us can identify with and are areas we need to be asking more questions about.

Homeless and vulnerable people have been hit with a double whammy in recent times, with welfare reform and cuts to the Public Services they rely on most. If a political party isn’t offering a solution to this, then they are very much part of the problem.  Politicians put themselves forward to run this country on a manifesto of promises and solutions, not excuses. Don’t waste the time of Public Service workers and those who rely on Public Services most by using excuses after the election.

I was in Rutherglen Main Street recently and a political party was proudly handing out mini-windmills and flags to kids, not policies on resolving homelessless and all the issues that cause homelessness.

I love the guys at The Invisibles, its all too easy to walk past someone sleeping on the street and post your outrage on Social Media. Use this outrage in a much more proactive and practical way than gaining followers and retweets. We all lead busy lives and I totally understand it isn’t always possible to give up time for the homeless, but there are well paid politicians in every area of Scotland who willingly put themselves forward to represent everyone in Scotland, it will take two minutes to ask them questions. Thank you.

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Cadogan Street Kitchen – Services Users Sign Up For Homeless World Cup Voluntary Roles

Tournament Returns to Scotland for First Time Since 2005

 

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Laura joins Robert and Caroline

 

On Wednesday evening, we were delighted to welcome Laura from “Glasgow Life” to our weekly clothing distribution service. Laura is in the process recruiting approximately one hundred and fifty people to help out in various voluntary roles during the course of the Homeless World Cup tournament and many of our service users were very keen to be involved. However, the online application process had previously been prohibitive for many.

Laura very kindly offered to come to Cadogan Street in person with paper application forms whilst also providing background information and answering any questions people may have had. Those who would otherwise be excluded from participating in such an event were inspired by her words of encouragement and readily completed their application forms.

 

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More volunteers complete their application forms.

 

The annual tournament, which first took place in Austria in 2003 and was most recently played in The Netherlands last year, is set to take place in Glasgow’s George Square from the 10th-16th July. Scotland have won the competition on two occasions – a record –  alongside Brazil, Chile and Italy who have done so also. Afghanistan, Austria, Russia, Ukraine and last year’s victors Mexico have all won the World Cup once.

Three purpose built pitches, each surrounded by seated viewing areas, will transform George Square into an outdoor footballing venue to be proud of in July, with sixty-four sides (forty-eight men’s teams and sixteen women’s teams) set to take part. The competition’s organisers expect the total number of spectators across the week to be somewhere in the region of one hundred thousand, meaning the voluntary voles mentioned at the beginning of this article will be of great importance to the smooth running of the tournament. Entry to the tournament as a spectator is free, with no tickets required.

We hope to provide regular updates of the volunteer’s respective progress and sincerely hope the tournament is a tremendous success for everyone involved. Good luck to Robert, Caroline, Barry, Jay, Paddy and Sheila.

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General Article

18 months later..

Well folks that’s 18 months of See The Invisibles, wow what can I say, Its blown me away, the generosity of people in and around Glasgow and even as far as the Shetland isles, donations at football grounds, donations posted from hundreds of miles away, people going on to the Amazon wish list and buying stuff to give to our group to pass on, we as a group hope we have helped a lot of people or at least made their life a wee bit easier.

The Invisibles started with a blog then a meeting or two, I was told by an experienced social worker that this could be big…well I thought no more of that statement, but I have since told that person how right he was, and it’s all down to ordinary folk who help the group and hold down jobs as well, donors who never seem to stop amazing me.

It’s 2015 and we still have the problem of homelessness and people having to use foodbanks, it’s not right.

Well we have done T in the park again and a special thanks to Tangerine Fields for their help and donations of sleeping bags and a special thanks to all the people who volunteered to wash the sleeping bags, thanks to the folk at our storage unit for helping us out.

I’d like to thank the volunteers of our wee group by name…but they want to remain invisible, you know who you are…THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart.

I’d also like to thank The Celtic Foundation for their generosity, and also The Celtic Network for its generosity, and The Carluke shamrock and many others

 

Too everyone who has helped may your God bless you…

Dermot.

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It’s “T” Time – Sleeping Bag Update

 

Well, it’s that time of year again when thousands flock to Scotland’s most popular music festival and we are inundated with enquiries regarding unwanted sleeping bags.

We have been offered a very large donation of sleeping bags from Tangerine Fields, which we will collect on the 14th July and store for distribution later in the year; this negates the need for collection points at Buchanan Street Bus Station and on site at the festival.

The success of last year’s collection was supplemented by the very successful Glasgow Rucksack Project and all the charities helping Glasgow’s homeless community benefitted from your generosity.

The Glasgow homeless charities that we’ve contacted over the past few weeks are confident that this year’s large donation together with the Rucksack Appeal planned for later in the year will mean they have a good supply to see them through the winter.

Anyone wishing to donate sleeping bags should hold onto them till the Rucksack Appeal, we’ll have more news on that later in the year.

Thank you for your continuing support.

Categories
Appeal

The Invisibles Wish List Appeal

We are launching a campaign for the month of June for the most needed items of Men’s underwear,     socks and belts through our Amazon Wish list:  https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/ls/ref=aw_wl_ov_edit_notes?ie=UTF8&filter&lid=2HDMGVIHY2WD1&p=1&reveal=unpurchased&sort=priority

If you purchase a pack of men’s boxer shorts for example, they are delivered directly to our storage unit in Dalmarnock, then our Volunteers distribute them to the Charities and Outreach teams in Glasgow who are working to alleviate homelessness in our city.

We trialled the wish list earlier this year and it has been a tremendous success, through your generosity, organisations such as Destiny’s Angels, Glasgow Simon Community RSVP Hub , Salt and Light to name a few, were able to provide some of our most vulnerable in society with clean warm clothing and sleeping bags.

All of our stock of underwear, socks and belts has gone out to our most needy; therefore we need your help to see them through the next couple of months.

If you prefer to purchase said items elsewhere you can contact us for details of how to arrange delivery etc.

Thanks in Advance

The Invisibles

Categories
Awareness

Some Issues Facing Glasgow’s Homeless by A Homelessness Sector Worker

There are many issues affecting homelessness from both the individuals’ point of view, and that of the workers involved in the sector. Although recognised publicly as a major issue, homelessness perhaps does not get the attention it deserves from a statutory viewpoint. Historically, in my opinion, Glasgow City Council has consistently failed to acknowledge that homelessness is a problem in the City, despite the amount of third sector services currently operating.

The closure of the large scale hostels within Glasgow aimed to provide smaller, more supported units – however, the supply of these units did not meet the demand. So much so, that just last year, the council stated that they planned to open two new hostel-type accommodations (at a cost of over £12 million) to meet the continual need for suitable homeless units.

Although in most cases, many would argue, the large scale hostels were not fit for purpose, these hostels provided a roof over one’s head. Now, I am not saying that these units were the answer – far from it. I stayed in one such hostel before the closure, and the memory of it is not a fond one. Drugs and drink were easily accessible, and the beginning of the homeless journey was made more difficult by the lack of individual support on offer. During my time in the larger hostel, I can honestly say I received no support in helping me address my issues at the time. I was basically given a room, with a bed, and that was it.

Now working in the homelessness sector, it appears nothing much has changed. Although many of the hostels closed, some still remain. However, I do believe that more support is on offer within these places, and I have experienced this too. Indeed, I had a positive experience in one such hostel which still operates just a stone’s throw from the City Centre.

I feel that a major issue facing individuals nowadays is not only the lack of accommodation available, but the types of accommodation being used. The Council now send people to bed & breakfast type places where the workers there have no experience of working in social care. Generally homelessness is only one of a multitude of issues that the individual experiences, and often their needs continue to go unmet. Mental health issues, relationship breakdowns, addiction issues all go hand in hand with homelessness, yet these individuals are shipped off to B&B’s on the outskirts of the city receiving little or no support. Removing the person from their communities can often have a negative effect on the individual – support networks, family, friends in the area are not given consideration. Having a support network can be a huge help to an individual, but moving someone out of the area they have spent most of their life, for example, can exacerbate an individual’s issues.

Every day people visit my workplace, homeless or otherwise, and during my time working within the voluntary sector, I have also become increasingly frustrated at the lack of support given by the council at times. In fact, many of the people with whom we work refuse to present to the council now. The reasons being that they have had a previous experience in which there was no positive outcome. On a daily basis, I encounter people who are told by the Hamish Allan Centre that there is ‘no accommodation available’. They are given bus tokens to visit one of the Casework Teams, spend all day there, before being told once again that there is still no accommodation available. They are then sent back to the Hamish Allan Centre after office hours, to continue the homeless presentation process. People sometimes go through this for days, sometimes weeks, before either being offered accommodation which fails to meet their needs, or indeed give up presenting as homeless due to constant negative decisions.

It’s a sad day when people would rather sleep rough, than visit the council for support. The council break the law by not providing accommodation, yet have been getting away with it for years.

Glasgow enjoys a reputation as a ‘caring city’. Although this may be true from the eyes of outsiders, in my opinion more should be done –much more – to address the issue of homelessness. Choosing to remain on the streets, rather than seek help from the council means our citizens are putting their lives at risk on a daily basis.

I hear shocking stories everyday about the way people are expected to behave. One of the bed and breakfast’s used by the council does not allow the residents to actually talk to one another. They are expected to isolate themselves from others, and be grateful that they have a roof over their heads. At least in the hostels of old, you were allowed to communicate. How many of the people reading this would stay in a bed and breakfast where you could not talk? Not me! Then why should we expect some of the most vulnerable people in the city to abide by these types of rules?

The homeless, literally, do not have a voice and as a result they are expected to take what they are given. Basic human rights are ignored, and the most marginalised and stigmatised people in society are constantly facing oppression.

Just what homeless people need…more issues to face.

The author wishes to remain anonymous

*Disclaimer: the views and opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views or opinion of ‘The Invisibles’ group.

Categories
Appeal

The Invisibles And The Spirit Of Walfrid

We are delighted to be one of the good causes who will benefit from a share of the profits from The Spirit Of Walfrid fundraising album. The bands and tracklist look great. You can follow our friends @CelticNetwork15 for updates. The album will be released on 10/04/2015 and we hope it’s a great success.

Here’s some info:

The app comprises of:

  • Spirit of Walfrid media player
  • Information and links about our good causes
  • Information and links about the bands and Artists
  • Images supplied by Celtic supporters
  • All audio files

The good causes to benefit are:

  • The KANO Foundation
  • The Good Child Foundation
  • Life Cycle For Neuroblastoma
  • The Invisibles
  • Sean’s Trust

Band and Artists are:

  • Charlie And The Bhoys
  • The Wakes
  • Bible Code Sundays
  • Gary Óg And The Exiles
  • Paddy Ryan
  • Billy No’Well
  • Hutchy
  • Dusty Bhoy
  • Closure

Here is the tracklist

the songs

Categories
Awareness

Advice From A Senior Homeless Housing Officer

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I’m a Senior Homeless Housing Officer for one of the largest Council’s in Scotland. What I would say is, I don’t deal with ‘The Homeless’ or ‘Service Users’, I meet with folk with a name who find themselves either facing or in a housing crisis.  Like most crisis situations, homelessness does not discriminate, can and does happen to anyone.

Since the introduction of the Housing (Scotland) Act 2010, we are regulated. The Scottish Housing Regulator has this statutory duty:-

‘Safeguard and promote the interests of current and future tenants of social landlords, people who are or may become homeless, and people who use housing services provided by registered social landlords (RSLs) and local authorities’

We report to the regulator and are audited and assessed.

My day is difficult to plan and can be unpredictable. On any given day we can have a family fleeing domestic abuse or harassment with only the clothes they are standing in to a young person who has been asked to leave the family home to a home being repossessed due to a Husband/Wife hiding a gambling/shopping addiction and running up debts to someone long term sofa-surfing or sleeping rough. We also have pre-planned appointments as we will see anyone faced with homelessness within the next 2 months.

As the Homeless Service is regulated, the team I work in are well versed on the current legislation, work to the Homelessness Code of Guidance and receive on-going training – contrary to what some might think of the ‘Cooncil no having a clue’. I have studied for and passed Shelter’s Home point qualification and currently studying towards a Housing Diploma in the evening.

Completing a homeless application – do I have to know your housing history, YES. Do I need to know why you have become or about to become homeless, YES. All Councils in Scotland will take you through the very same procedure and will explain you need to meet the following:

Are you homeless or about to made homeless in the next 2 months ?

Are you intentionally homeless ?

Do you have a local connection to the Local Authority ?

The Council has 28 days to make a decision. The onus isn’t really on the person to prove they are homeless and the Council will always give benefit of doubt however, we will challenge anyone presenting with a current tenancy or own property and seek an explanation. Situations such as Domestic Violence are not really investigated and you do not need a Local Connection.

Tenancy sustainment and prevention is huge and something the Scottish Government is committed to, the Housing Options and Homeless Prevention Service we offer is also assessed. Should anyone find themselves faced with a threat of homeless but it might not be in the next 2 months, we will meet with you and review your housing situation through the Prevention and Housing Options route. We always aim to keep a Family in their home unless its unsafe and will not deny anyone a Homeless Interview should they feel Housing Options is not the best route. What I would stress here is overcrowding is not a reason for homelessness and by overcrowding I mean 2 kids sharing a bedroom is not a disgrace, different matter if it’s 5 in a bedsit.

We can negotiate on your behalf with Private Landlords and Mortgage Lenders and will work with the Courts regarding mortgage and rent arrears – sometimes postponing eviction action until you receive an offer of permanent re housing and save the use of Temporary Accommodation.  We know what a valid Notice to Quit looks like and we will challenge any Landlord when the notice is invalid (which a LOT are !) and also if your property is in a state of disrepair.

The Council are the face of Government policies and as such we face the frustrations of the Public but for me the most difficult part is dealing with Rooflessness, challenging behaviour and managing expectations. For Rooflessness and challenging behaviour, 1 in 3 folk sleeping rough in Glasgow have been barred from temporary accommodation (can be found on Shelter’s website) – this might not be something you want to hear or agree with but doesn’t change that this is a reality and happens at least once a week, if not a day. I hate this part of my job but we will always work with the person towards permanent re housing and tenancy sustainment. The reasons they have been evicted or barred are too many to mention but some are as simple as non payment of rent to the more complex of intimidating behaviour (a minority). I would stress that intimidating behaviour isn’t exclusive to homelessness by a long shot, not even close. We all face setbacks and make mistakes, working with challenging behaviour is certainly not easy but not impossible. The most difficult part can be getting the person to engage with Services put in place and Support won’t always work the first time or 2nd, 3rd, or 4th.. Anyone working in any Support Services will confirm this.

Rooflessness and long term rough sleeping can and is difficult, there can often be mental health or addiction and there is no magic solution with the road to recovery long. To judge someone this way without knowing the story or the person is wrong on so many levels. Ongoing support needs to be offered and easily accessible. We don’t live in an ideal world where everything is all fluffy, some are less fortunate than ourselves and aren’t blessed with a strong circle of family and friends.  For example, some people there only friends are other addicts – how do you break this cycle ? Would you like to cut ties with the only friends you have, the only friends you feel accept you ?

This brings me onto Support Services – absolutely no doubt there is a shortage of affordable and social housing but this papers over some of the cracks for me. If it was really this simple, why do I regularly meet folk who are on their 4th/5th/6th – 12th homeless presentation and have been re housed on more than one occasion ? If anyone has the answer here, I would be grateful as we are always looking to improve this and report to the Regulator on repeat presentations. We also look at Permanent Tenancies that fail within 12 months and need foresight, not hindsight.

Our Housing Support Service is offered and assessed at the initial homeless interview – this can be budgeting, accessing welfare benefits, registering with a GP, accessing other services (e.g. Woman’s Aid, Addiction etc), befriending and social inclusion or just simply moral support. We also have Family Support Services and Intensive Support Services- sometimes this is outsourced and we joint work with organisations such as Shelter Support Services. We will look at previous tenancies and the reasons they failed.

Foodbanks are growing however we have for a long time provided emergency food parcels via a Charity organisation – the fact foodbanks are growing is another story and an affront to the powers that be of Great Britain. As we are a Support Service, we can access the food parcels and token system for foodbanks however, the other side. We have the not so nice job of asking the questions of why they are using foodbanks – have their benefits been sanctioned, if yes – why ? What support and assistance can we offer to resolve this ?  Is there budgeting issues, do they have gas and electricity to cook the food and heat the property ? This is just a very small sample and again doesn’t matter if you agree or disagree with the questions being asked, benefit sanctions leaves the family with no income or housing benefit and practical help is needed. Outrage at benefit sanctions alone doesn’t put food on the table or heat a house.

We also have to plan in Child Protection or Adult Support and Protection multi-agency meetings that we attend – this is far from easy or ‘interesting’ and is most likely about someone we’ve met and got to know. For an Adult who is subject to Adult Support and Protection we are ensuring a care support plan and package is in place to ensure the Adult can live in their home and feel safe.

Temporary Accommodation – we have a statutory duty to provide this should you find yourself in a roofless situation. We have our own Temporary furnished flats, properties we lease from Private Landlords, emergency hostel type accommodation and Supported Accommodation. B&B accommodation is unsuitable but can be used as a last, short term resort. The Council do not manage all their accommodation but joint work with organisations such as Salvation Army, Blue Triangle, Y People and more. Part of my job is to attend budget meetings and problem solving – again a reality, no matter what your opinion is of budgets, these services do not run on fresh air. Another brutal reality of benefit sanctions, housing benefit is not paid and if you do not engage with Support Services/DWP/Housing Benefit section to resolve this, the placement in temporary accommodation can be lost. Rent income is any Housing Services main and sometimes only source of income.

Temporary Accommodation can be part of the ‘managing expectations’ that I find difficult at times. We can only offer what we have on that day and it can take some families right out of their comfort zone, this is something I understand and sympathise with. Kids are at School in a specific area, your family/friends support is in a specific area and we cannot offer accommodation there. You feel ‘dumped’ in a strange area, difficult and demoralising. Never mind if its hostel type accommodation ! We will always prioritise a family with kids to get them moved out of hostel type accommodation and look to avoid this but not always possible. I’m not immune where my job is concerned and have lost countless night’s sleep and will probably continue to do so with more budget cuts heading our way. It’s very difficult to switch off and there are often ‘that’s it, I need a new job’.

With our own accommodation we manage this ourselves within the Homeless Team and need a quick turnover due to demands on our service. However we face problems with electricity and gas suppliers particularly with prepayment meters and repairs etc. This is all time consuming and frustrating.

When I go into work tomorrow, I have no idea what it will bring.

The guys at See The Invisibles are being very practical, are off their backside and doing this work in their own time, they have been absolutely fantastic !

Categories
General Article

Me and The Invisibles

By Tara
By Tara

December 17, 2014

As Christmas and new year approaches, it seems the done thing to quietly contemplate the year gone by and reflect on all the ups and downs you’ve encountered along the way.

For me, it’s been a very bittersweet year.

It started out very busy, volunteering at my local foodbank where I was working my wee socks off and making a real difference within my local community.

Social media had played a massive role in my work there and continued to do so as I basically annoyed the life out of anyone who would listen. About foodbanks, charity work, poverty and the blatant inequality that was so evident to me, but not to everyone else. Or so it seemed.

Through twitter I had met some pretty amazing people who were like minded and determined to make a difference.

I happened across a tweet about homelessness in Glasgow.

Having been homeless for a spell myself, it was (and still is) a subject close to my heart.

These tweets were poignant.

They identified a real issue in Glasgows city centre by a railway worker who had noticed the stark numbers of people sleeping rough as he finished up on his nightshifts.

It became quite apparent that this guy, although a grumpy old sod, had a real desire to do something about this huge citywide problem.

I was in!

How could I help? What could I do?

Id developed a real passion for helping others where I could and was happy to try and link in with the contacts I was lucky enough to have made through the Foodbank.

From there, The Invisibles was born.

A community group who would act, in effect, as the middle man in arranging collections of clothes and sleeping bags then distributing them between the main homeless charities in Glasgow.

The name was never in question for, if we’re really honest with ourselves, we’ve all walked by someone sitting on the pavement without a seconds thought about the whys or where fors that led them to this place of rest.

Many would rather they were invisible and have already created a scenario that excuses the ignorance before walking by them.

This person is someone’s son or daughter, a brother or sister. A parent, an uncle, a friend.

We knew it would take off. We believed whole heartedly in the spirit of the public and that it would bring people together when faced with a real opportunity to help another.

I don’t think we envisioned just how successful we would become in such a short period of time.

I was offered a job, a job coordinating a Foodbank. So, I had to take a step back for a spell but kept an eye on the goings on with a firm view that once I found my feet in my job, I could then get stuck in again with this group that I had been involved with from it’s inception.

The job was (is) going great then I lost my wee mum in July.

Therein lies the bittersweet.

I am immensely proud of each and every one of them. Each bringing unique skills to the table but overall, the desire to help others who for whatever reason, are experiencing issues severe enough to render them homeless/roofless/stuck on the streets, is the main factor is keeping us going.

2015 will be a great year for us. We will continue to help where we can and intend to keep those less fortunate than ourselves at the forefront of everyone’s minds.

Be warned!

Merry Christmas and all the best for 2015!

Tara

Original Content at: http://taragmaguire.wordpress.com/2014/12/17/the-invisbles/

You can follow Tara on Twitter @mag_tara