Edinburgh is a place of contrasts and change.
As Scotland’s capital city, the city draws people from across the globe to come visit and live here. While this diversity and internationalism is something to celebrate, we also face a huge housing shortage in the city. This makes things really tough for many people – especially those working in low wage jobs.
The demand for affordable accommodation or council housing options in Edinburgh far outweighed what is available. This, coupled with the nature of employment in the city, means that rough sleeping is an ongoing challenge for too many people in the city.
They are consistent, very flexible, non judgement, always positive, always have time. If I want something they advocate.
Skilled and experienced
Streetwork has been a Simon Community service since 2019. The service has been operating in Edinburgh for around 30 years providing a range of services to make it easy for people to get the support they need. Our team in Edinburgh bring knowledge and expertise to help people find long term solutions to the challenges they face.
Relationships matter most
We connect with people and stick by them so they can journey out of homelessness. It starts with each person. We show up with humanity, persistence and understanding. Pivotal to our approach is working with other agencies and forming strong partnerships so that people get the best possible support.
What we do every day
Across Edinburgh we deliver a wide range of services – starting on the frontline with our Street Team and Holyrood Hub. We also offer Housing Support as an outreach service and offer support within a Rapid Access service – which ensures people can have a safe place to sleep as quickly as possible. Housing First provides permanent homes and support. Everything we do is about making it easy for people to avoid, resolve and recover from homelessness.
Services and initiatives in Edinburgh
I now have the strength to do things I wouldn’t have been able to do myself. It’s brilliant, I feel I have belief in myself for the first time.
SUPPORT IN A CRISIS
- Street Team including Street Cycles: Every day we connect with people who are sleeping rough or at risk of rough sleeping. Our Street Team provides advice, support to access services and some on-street services. Our Street Cycles volunteers help us reach more people quickly. They also support donation collection and delivery. Read more about rough sleeping and how you can help.
- Holyrood Hub: Our Holyrood Hub is open every day to support those facing extremely difficult circumstances. We provide practical and emotional support and advice as well as access to amenities – e.g. our digital zone. Though our work with partners we are able to provide a number of specialist drop-ins including medical and vet care. There are also workshops for wellbeing, skill development and recovery.
- Helpline: Our 24hr freephone line provides information and advice for anyone who needs it; including signposting to relevant services.
- Street Support: We are part of an partnership project with the University of Edinburgh and the Street Support Network. With the Street Support app, people can find the right service for what they need.
SAFE PLACES TO SLEEP
- Rapid Access to Accommodation: Through Rapid Access Accommodation that the City of Edinburgh Council have put in place, our staff have direct links to accommodation that is available immediately. This innovative service allows us to avoid the delays that can happen in the typical referral processes when we are helping someone to resolve their homelessness. It means people get a safe place to sleep as quickly as possible and avoid further harm.
- Housing First: We are part of the Housing First Consortium in Edinburgh – a welcome new approach to providing housing to people who are homeless. Rather than enduring a range of temporary housing solutions, through Housing First people are given a permanent home as quickly as possible along with any support that they need to make it their home. This helps avoid further harm and helps people recover from homelessness more easily.
A PLACE TO CALL HOME
- Housing Support (Outreach): Our outreach team in Edinburgh works across the city to help people find a settled home, and once they have it, to keep their home and avoid homelessness. For many people, sustaining a tenancy can be challenging, especially if they have experienced the trauma of homelessness. We provide individually tailored support with budgeting, using digital tools and applying for grants for furniture as well as emotional support and helping people to link in with other agencies to meet their wider needs. We can also accompany people to appointments and help them resolve issues they are facing. Through our compassion, care and attention we help people grow in confidence and enjoy the home they create for themselves. #EveryoneHome
INNOVATION FOR IMPACT
Read more about other innovation we’re leading in Edinburgh and beyond:
Support our Work in Edinburgh
You can support our work by volunteering, sharing what we’re up to on social media or taking on a fundraising challenge! Fundraising for our work also helps raise awareness of homelessness and how we support people.
- Read more about volunteering with us
- Find us on Twitter: @SimonCommScot, @street_work, and @Streetreads
- Find us on Facebook: @SimonCommScot and @streetworkUK
FUNDRAISE AND HELP US SUPPORT MORE PEOPLE
Donations enable us to support more people and develop innovative initiatives that make a difference.
Streetwork is proud to be part of Simon Community Scotland. If you would like to fundraise for us, please visit our Simon Community Just Giving page – you will be supporting our work across Scotland and giving us the flexibility to use your gift where it is most needed. To support the work in Edinburgh, you can also donate or fundraise through our Streetwork Just Giving page.
You could do something personal – like participating in a race or giving something up for a month – donating what you save, or you could join with others to organise something bigger. If you need some inspiration, have a look at our A to Z Fundraising ideas list.
LEARN MORE ABOUT US AND SHARE THIS WITH OTHERS
If you are sharing about our work or fundraising for us, visit our homelessness page to learn more so you can help debunk some myths! You can also visit our about us page to learn more about what we do.
WE’D LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU
If you decide to fundraise for us or support our work in other ways, please let us know how you get on and send us some pictures!