A CHARITY said it has helped more than 50 rough sleepers on the streets of Glasgow city centre in two weeks.

A number were recently released from prison and they said there is an issue with men being released late in the day with no support.

Homeless Project Scotland, which runs a food kitchen and outreach support in the city, said it referred the people on to the council’s case work team.

Glasgow Times:

The council said the numbers of rough sleepers in the city are low and the Scottish Prison Service said homelessness on release is still a problem but that efforts to reduce it have been successful and should be recognised.

Homeless Project Scotland said it is a system failure that a charity is having to find these people late at night.

Colin McInnes of the charity said: “We helped accommodate 24 in the first week in October and more the week before.

Glasgow Times:

“We picked them up and helped get them processed into accommodation.

“Many who are homeless are coming out of prison with nowhere to go.

“Some are being released after 8pm. There is a failure in the prison service case work.

“That is a shambles.”

The Scottish Prison Service recognised some people become homeless after they are released but said that due to the efforts made, the problem of homelessness among people leaving prison is not as high as it was a number of years ago.

A spokesperson said: “We work with housing providers to try and ensure when people are released, they have somewhere to go.”

He added: “It remains an issue for people coming out of prison. Having somewhere to go is a fundamental part of rehabilitation back into the community.

Glasgow Times:

“Massive improvements have been made especially in Glasgow but the problem still remains and it is more acute in some areas than others.”

Others who regularly help homeless people in the city centre handing out food and water at night have said there is a noticeable increase.

Sean Clerkin, housing and homelessness campaigner, said he has been in the city centre and heard from homeless people of the issues they faced after they were released from prison.

Glasgow Times:

Clerkin said: “There has also been a serious failure of communication between the agencies that help the homeless.

“This has to be remedied now or we will see rough sleepers back on the streets dying of cold this winter.

“This is morally unacceptable in the 21st century.”

The council said the numbers stated by the charity didn’t match its experience of the last two weeks and said people who need accommodation leaving prison are provided with it.

A spokesperson for Glasgow’s Health and Social Care Partnership said: “We monitor rough sleeping in partnership with our commissioned third sector partners operating in the city and figures remain very low.

“For almost all of the pandemic, they have been in single figures.

“We have provided more than 20,000 offers of emergency accommodation during the pandemic and continue to provide accommodation for those who require it.”

The spokesperson added: “Glasgow City Justice services operate a robust prison through-care service ensuring those who require accommodation are also provided with it.

“Homeless Project Scotland are aware of the referral route for emergency accommodation and we would expect them to act accordingly where they have concerns.”