Your support is transforming people’s lives
On the 23rd March 2020 Scotland went into lockdown. The COVID-19 pandemic presented everyone with one of the greatest challenges we’ve ever faced.
For people experiencing homelessness the challenge was even greater.
Having nowhere to self-isolate meant more risk of becoming ill with the virus or spreading it. The services people relied on disappeared – places people would go for food and clothes closed, along with shower and laundry facilities. The social interactions people took comfort from had to stop.
You helped changed the desperate situation for so many people experiencing homelessness. Here’s the amazing story that you played a part in.
You helped support over 2,500 people experiencing or at risk of homelessness
Thanks to your support, Simon Community Scotland have kept over 2,500 people safe. While important, it is not just a roof over someone’s head or the next meal – our teams are here to listen, to get to know people, build relationships and support them with the next stage in their lives.
Everyone has their own story to tell. Over four months we were privileged to get to know and support individuals aged 16-84 years old – to see their smiling faces and share their hopes and dreams.
Emergency accommodation meant 14 days after lock down rough sleeping was virtually eradicated from Glasgow and Edinburgh
Thanks to the support of the Scottish Government and local authorities, emergency accommodation was provided in hotels. Our teams welcomed people to this safe accommodation from day one of lockdown. Within 14 days our Street Teams in Glasgow and Edinburgh had visited everyone who was sleeping rough and invited them to hotel accommodation in order to stay safe during lockdown.
Over 156,000 meals were provided so people didn’t have to worry about going out for food
From local restaurants to church groups, from colleges to charities – it was overwhelming to see the effort our communities went to in order to ensure no one had to put themselves at risk to go out and get food.
More than 300 people took the next step in moving forward with support from a variety of services
Putting a roof over people’s head was just the start. Giving people their own private space allowed them time to think, time to be themselves and time to consider the future. Our team and partner agencies were on hand to offer immediate health and wellbeing support.
Services including pharmacy access for people with substance misuse issues, GP appointments, mental health support delivered via video calls and financial advice were available directly and almost immediately.
24 hours of support, 7 days a week for people experiencing homelessness
When people first arrived at the hotels they were overwhelmed. Although it was a temporary solution, for some it was the first time they had ever stayed in a hotel. People couldn’t believe they didn’t have to share a room with others, they couldn’t believe they had their own warm shower in their own bathroom.
Thanks to you, people have a brighter future to look forward to. Thank you.
We can’t stop here – please continue to #GiveHope
The risk of homelessness has not gone away. In fact the economic impact of lockdown is likely to drive even more people into poverty and the risk of homelessness.
Many people are now facing unemployment and are overwhelmed by stress, loss and bereavement. We are already seeing increases in those seeking help, many of whom would have no choice but to sleep rough if it were not for the emergency resources that have been put in place.
Amazing things have been achieved through this dreadful crisis, people have received immediate support and gone on to thrive. We can’t let things return to how they were before – we can’t let people have no hope or no opportunity to rebuild and recover.
We now know what works to create real change and what a better system looks like in tackling homelessness. People’s lives will continue to change because of coronavirus and our work to keep people safe will continue to be needed more than ever. We can’t do it without your help.
Please continue to #GiveHope to people experiencing or at risk of homelessness.
Together, we can end homelessness.