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Simon Community Scotland


MORE than 34,000 people are classed as ‘homeless’ in Scotland every year – but this astonishing figure does not include the people sleeping rough on the streets, sleeping on friends’ sofas, or going between B&Bs.

Homelessness is not a new issue. Indeed, the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, The Right Rev Dr Russell Barr, highlighted the issue when he was addressing the Scottish Churches Housing Action event in October. Acknowledging that, according to Shelter, there were 40,989 homeless applications made to local authorities in 1996, Dr Barr said the issue has not really changed in 20 years and cited homelessness as “demoralising, degrading and dehumanising”.

Today’s Scottish government figures show that 17,822 children and young people belonged to 34,662 households applying to be registered as homeless in 2015-16.

However, the problem is much bigger than that – not everyone living in a homeless situation applies to be registered with a council as homeless. These people are slipping through the net of official figures. Last month the charity Simon Community Scotland marked its 50th anniversary with a series of events to highlight the issue, especially sleeping rough, but also the broader debate surrounding the ensuing physical and mental health, self-confidence, learning opportunities, and ultimate job prospects for homeless people.

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About iScot Magazine

November Edition 2016 issue Number 23 The one with Nicola and Saltire 2020 Vision A bumper 116 pages choc full of the best of Scottish writers today. Robbie Dinwoodie - Ben Thomson - The Legacy Alyn Smith MEP - A conference update - Focused David Bowman Interview - Les Huckfield - ex Labour MP "It's Labour for me... but not in Scotland" David James Hood - A perfect storm Jason Michael Mc Cann - The Alex Salmond Interview Will McLeod - How disasters look good ...on paper Wee Ginger Dug - They're all so pretty vacant Derek Bateman - Doing Middle Class Tom Morton - Sticky Aberdeen - the New Birmingham? Dr Steve McCabe - Fit to Lead? Tom Morton - Scotch and Spirit Jennifer Harper Feature - Simon Community Scotland Mary Edward - Short Story - The Gift Grouse Beater - Investigating Gorbal's boy Alan Pinkerton PI Rachel Gillon - Food for thought Zoe Weir - Glasgow Tobacco Barons Peter A Bell - Forget Darien, this is the bigee - The Madness of Men David McVey - Short Story - A Nation Decides Major Bloodnok - Agony Aunt - He knows, you know