The challenge of homelessness in Scotland needs a high-quality response. We promote volunteering to provide routes out of homelessness, and stop it happening in the first place.
We’re happy to come and talk to your group about local action to tackle homelessness. To find out more, contact our Development Manager, Heather Zajac.
Our approach is to work with a small group to help them find out about homelessness in their area, and decide what they can do to make a positive difference. We trust them to do the work – we don’t try to run it from the centre. We are there to support them, guide them, help them make links, develop their plan. We work in partnership with established local and national organisations, and with local authorities.
Projects we have helped establish include:
Starter packs of household essentials are a bridge out of homelessness. Comprising kettles, bedding, pots & pans, cleaning equipment and more, they help turn an empty house or flat into a functioning home.
We have helped set up around 30 starter pack projects – from Fresh Start in Edinburgh to Supporting the Homeless in Kintyre (SHIK) in Campeltown. These are linked together through the online Starter Pack Network.
Homelessness is an isolating and lonely experience. Our befriending approach is to find volunteers who will stand alongside homeless people and help break down this pattern.
In Paisley, House to Home is doing this work through remarkable volunteers. In Perth, Churches Action for the Homeless (CATH) have developed befriending with their volunteers.
In Kilmarnock, EACHa (East Ayrshire Churches Homelessness Action) provides drop-in services, befriending and hygiene packs to local people at risk of or experiencing homelessness. Janice Grant, EACHa secretary, has said: “I cannot express enough how much we at EACHa have appreciated the advice and support over the years from all of you at SCHA”.
In Edinburgh, SCHA brought a group of people together to form Aid & Abet. Developed and led by people who have themselves been through the criminal justice system, Aid & Abet provides essential support to people at the point of leaving prison.
“SCHA are doing some extraordinary work. It’s a generous approach – start it up, let it go and watch it fly.”
Rachel Lampard, Vice-President, UK Methodists