Threat of homelessness hangs over families this Christmas

Pw scotland news shelter scotland christmas photos 020a

Thousands of children will wake up on Christmas morning without a home, and many more families are facing the risk of eviction

6th December 2017 by Gareth Jones 0 Comments

Hundreds of thousands of Scottish families have the threat of homelessness hanging above their heads this Christmas.

More than 6,000 children in Scotland are set to wake up on 25 December without a home or living in temporary accommodation.

And Shelter Scotland has revealed that 184,000 families in Scotland could be one pay cheque away from losing their home.

Through its Christmas appeal, the charity is warning that for many people, the festive season will bring very little comfort and joy.

Alison Watson, deputy director of Shelter Scotland, said: "The festive season is a time of traditions, a time to remember others and enjoy the company of family and friends. We want to remind people in Scotland that many families are not as fortunate as we are and will struggle to enjoy a traditional Christmas because they have no place to call home.

"Let's not make homelessness a Christmas tradition. Let's fix homelessness in Scotland and make sure that everyone has a warm, secure and affordable home, that a safety net exists for people who do lose their home and that no-one has to sleep rough on our streets at Christmas or at any time of the year."

Work by the charity has also revealed that a household in Scotland becomes homeless every 19 minutes, and that 28,247 households were assessed as statutorily homeless in 2016/17.

Wider research has shown that up to 128,000 children throughout the UK will wake up in homeless accommodation this Christmas. The charity has highlighted the anxiety that living in such conditions can cause.

Ellie, 15, spoke of the problems of living in a cramped room with her whole family.

She said: "It's hard to concentrate at school because there's the worry about coming home. It's just stressful.

"There's nowhere we can relax or get any privacy. Before it was much better.

"We had our own home right near school and right near our friends. We all had our own rooms and a cooker and a fridge. We could eat proper meals. I just want it to be like it was before."

Shelter staged a Christmas scene on Buchanan Street in Glasgow this week, with campaigners assembling a traditional setting of a dining table seemingly loaded with seasonal fayre but actually revealing uncomfortable facts about homelessness in Scotland.