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Groups make plea to help beat homelessness in 2021

By Alan Beresford

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AMID growing concern about the impact of Covid on the housing and financial situation of thousands of Scots, 31 organisations in the Everyone Home collective are urging people in communities and those running local services to prevent homelessness closer to home in 2021 and beyond.

Listening and acting quickly enough could help prevent homelessness, says Everyone Home.
Listening and acting quickly enough could help prevent homelessness, says Everyone Home.

On the basis that all homelessness starts in a community, Everyone Home, which includes charities and leading academics, has published a detailed Route Map to protect people’s housing in communities across Scotland.

With this increased focus on prevention the collective is appealing to health professionals, community planning partnerships, community councils, local authorities and grass roots services, groups and networks to inspire local conversations in 2021 aimed at preventing homelessness before it starts.

Maggie Brünjes, chief executive of Homeless Network Scotland, said: “In 2021 there will be more pressure on people’s finances, our relationships and our coping strategies due to the pandemic.

"These are also the circumstances that can create homelessness, at a time when frontline services are pushed to the brink. All homelessness starts in a community – communities also host many brilliant local groups and services that could reach and support people earlier, and closer to home.

"Local conversations that simply 'ask about housing' can reduce stress and worry and help improve people's housing situation before it escalates into homelessness.”

This latest Route Map, the fourth to be produced by Everyone Home since the collective was launched in May, identifies the factors that increase the chance of homelessness and the protecting factors that can help prevent it.

The collective is inviting more local conversations with two clear objectives:

• Ask about housing – When people you connect with or provide a service to have money worries or problems at home, ask about housing and listen to what would help.

• Act on what people tell you – Make introductions to local advice and support services and encourage people to get help. The quicker people act, the more chance there is of preventing homelessness.

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