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Homeless Action Scotland joins forces with Shelter Scotland to say homelessness is far from fixed

HAS lends support to national homelessness campaign.

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Homeless Action Scotland (HAS) today (Wednesday 27 September) announced its support for Shelter Scotland’s campaign Homelessness: Far From Fixed.

The two organisations marked the occasion with a photo-call outside the Scottish Parliament ahead of them both giving evidence to the Local Government and Communities Committee on homelessness.

HAS is the latest high-profile group to sign up to the campaign after the Association of Local Authority Chief Housing Officers (ALACHO) signed last week.

When its campaign launched 12 months ago, Shelter Scotland called Scotland’s current level of homelessness a national badge of shame for one of the world’s richest nations. It accused local and national government of taking their eye off the ball on tackling and preventing homelessness in Scotland.

Since then, significant progress has been made. In the refreshed Programme for Government announced by Nicola Sturgeon earlier this month, a £50 million ‘Ending Homelessness Together’ fund was included along with the creation of an action group on homelessness. Homelessness had not featured in the previous Programme for Government.

The Far From Fixed campaign’s four main demands are:

  • A safe and affordable home for everyone
  • Help is available for everyone to keep or find a home
  • A strong housing safety net to catch people if they do lose their home
  • And, that no-one should ever have to sleep rough on Scotland’s streets

Homeless Action Scotland CEO Gavin Yates said:

“As Scotland’s only national membership organisation for those committed to end homelessness, we welcome the Scottish Government’s recent focus on rough sleeping and homelessness. We will play our part in ensuring that the voice of our members in the voluntary sector, local authorities and housing associations are heard loudly.

“We are happy to be associated with Shelter Scotland’s campaign and as a key member of ours we will do everything we can to support them in their aim of ending homelessness.

“We would also highlight the need to phase out the use of night shelters as simply moving people from rough sleeping to shelters is not an adequate response for a modern, proud nation like ours.”

Graeme Brown, Director Shelter Scotland, said:

“We began our campaign 12 months ago to show that homelessness can still happen to anyone, that people become homeless through chance not choice and to call for renewed focus on homelessness across Scotland.

“Gaining the support of Homeless Action Scotland is very important in order to push home the message that homelessness in Scotland is Far From Fixed.”

Graeme Brown added:

“Our campaign has clearly caught the attention of the Scottish Government, and we thank everyone who has signed up to our campaign to get us this far, including 27 housing, homelessness and third sector organisations in Scotland. We are making real progress.”