A program designed to tackle rough sleeping is helping people across Scotland to find a home.

A collaboration between the Scottish government, local authorities, support agencies, and a property management group has helped almost 2500 people to find a home over the past year.

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In an effort to tackle homelessness, the Wheatley group has converted 164 temporary furnished homes into permanent homes for tenants and created more than 300 housing first tenancies.

William, from Glasgow, was homeless for years but putting housing first has proven a key step to changing his outlook.

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The 69-year-old said: “Getting the keys to a new house is only one small part – the support is key. I went from having nothing to having a house, with no belongings, and that was really hard.

“I can honestly say that without the support of my two housing officers I wouldn’t be here today.

“I was more afraid of living than I was dying and they’ve made it possible for me to live a life I never thought I could.

“I suffer with mental health issues, brought about through trauma I suffered as a child. That goes hand in hand with the addictions – it was my way of coping.”

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William now has family support back in his life and he volunteers five days a week with a local charity who helped him through the tough times.

“I want to help others in the way I was. Life for me is good now, I can deal with things I would have run away from before – that’s only down to the help I’ve had from my housing officers.”

Hazel Young, a director from Wheatley Group, said: “We continue to do all we can to protect the most vulnerable people in society and to support those who are homeless and in greatest need in our communities.

“Homelessness can happen to anyone at any age.

“Working closely with our partners across the country we are helping make sure people in our communities are able to access a warm and safe place to call home.

“We will continue to do all we can to support the most vulnerable people across Wheatley communities in the east, west and south of Scotland.”