As Scotland’s capital city, Edinburgh 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.
There is very little affordable accommodation or council housing options in Edinburgh. 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.
Skilled and experienced
Streetwork has been a Simon Community service since 2019. The service has been operating in Edinburgh for over 25 years providing a range of support 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 have 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
SUPPORT IN A CRISIS
- Street Team & 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 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, showers and laundry facilities. Though our work with partners we are able to provide a number of specialist drop-ins including medical and vet care. Weekly workshops are provided 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, 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. 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. 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 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 support with budgeting, using digital tools and applying for grants for furniture. 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: