There is nothing good about living on the city streets, seeking a living from begging and relying on people’s charity and goodwill yet still in 2018 we have people living, sleeping and surviving on the streets of our major cities. In Glasgow our street team are out morning noon and night seven days a week working to get people off the street and into a safe and secure place but that’s not always possible.
Over the last two years many Cities in Scotland have experienced an increase in begging with a number of Councils wishing to make begging illegal in their city. Aberdeen, Perth, Edinburgh and Glasgow have all raised concerns. Begging is not illegal unless it is aggressive and then the Police can act upon those behaviours.
Homelessness can happen to anyone, and I mean anyone, and at this time of year, when the temperatures fall below freezing it’s really heart rending to think that so many people are sleeping out on our streets. I had the opportunity to spend some time with the Simon Community’s Street Outreach service on Wednesday to see at first hand some of the issues homeless people are facing and also the range of support and real compassion shown by the Simon Community’s staff.