Charity CEO calls for urgent local business support in the run up to christmas

Simon Community Scotland (SCS), Scotland’s largest provider of homeless support services, is currently working with 60 people in North Perthshire & Perth who are at risk of losing their homes. 

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Simon Community Scotland (SCS), Scotland’s largest provider of homeless support services, is currently working with 60 people in North Perthshire & Perth who are at risk of losing their homes. 

Part of a team of nine people, the Perth Tenancy Support service covers housing needs, financial aid and mental health support, often in a time of crisis. Tenancy sustainment plays a vital role in the prevention of homelessness, linking Perth locals to the right services to help them resolve the issues they are facing, ensuring they can continue to live safely and confidently in their own home.

Simon Community’s emergency winter appeal ‘A Safe Place’ is aiming to raise £200,000 this year with funds directed straight to people being supported through their Perth Tenancy Support Services, plus Access Hubs in Glasgow and Edinburgh, SCS Homes, Outreach and Accommodation Services and Street Teams. 

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Following the announcement that more cities across Scotland are facing a housing emergency, and amid ongoing cost of living challenges, Simon Community Scotland has written an open letter to businesses around Perth calling for support.

Lorraine McGrath, Chief Executive at Simon Community Scotland, said: “This month alone, we are providing safe places and support to over 60 people in Perth who are at risk of homelessness. The winter months are particularly hard and we’re doing all we can to help. But we need support from businesses across Perth to allow us to keep people safe and supported this winter, through Christmas and beyond.

“We urgently need donations to our emergency winter appeal to cope with an increasing demand for our services. From employee fundraising, volunteering and charity partnerships, we’re keen to work with as many local businesses as possible. 

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“Scotland’s housing crisis is a problem which won’t be solved overnight. Our Street Teams and hub staff are on the frontline, delivering support to as many people as possible. We have seen an increase in the number of people sleeping rough and visiting our hubs. We urgently need support to help provide safe places and support and we promise that all donations will be put to immediate use.”

According to Scottish Government figures, there were over 39,006 applications for homelessness across the country in 2022/2023, a 9% increase on the previous year. Over 32,000 households were assessed as being homeless, including over 16,000 children.

As of 31 March 2023, over 15,000 households were living in temporary accommodation in Scotland – 46% more than a decade before.   

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