Children in Primary school should be taught about homelessness as part of an effort to stop people suffering in the future, a conference will hear.

The Homeless Network holds its annual conference in Glasgow next week with a focus on prevention.

The conference will hear from people with lived experience of homelessness and rough sleeping.

Scottish Government Housing Minister Kevin stewart and from Sir Harry Burns, Professor of Global Public Health at Strathclyde University, will also address the conference.

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David Ramsay, Change Lead with the Homeless Network will detail his own story of how he became homeless.

He said “There’s a gap in my life between an ordinary working-class childhood in Glasgow and around 10 years ago.

“Today I have a home, a job and a family but in my 20s and 30s I was all over the place and ended up in prison. After I became homeless, I saw for myself how the system results in people being trapped in a cycle of unsettled temporary accommodation, substance abuse and a lack of control. That ‘gap’ in my life is captured by the absence of any photographs of me for more than 15 years. It was as if I disappeared and then came back.”

He said with interventions at different stages his life could have been different.

David added:“I see now there were loads of opportunities for someone to step in and give me the direction I needed and the tools to help me change my life.

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“These occurred in my family environment, primary and secondary school, the NHS and even in prison. We are individually responsible for our own future, but young people need guidance at that critical point in life. By the time I became homeless it was too late.”

Maggie Brunjes, Chief Executive of the Homeless Network, said: “The risk of becoming homeless sits heavily with people who are least able to shield themselves from it, especially if there is little cash coming in or no savings in the background.

“Many of us are able to take for granted all the benefits that having a safe, secure and stable home has on every other part of our life.

“We need to help strengthen this expectation earlier in schools and across all our communities, with services centred on the strengths and aspirations of people, families and communities, not divided into our needs and problems.”