Aye We Can Update


GHN’s David and Jim reflect on #AyeWeCan so Far…


Aye We Can is a 6 month collaboration to make sure the wit and wisdom of people with experience of homelessness shapes the recommendations to Scottish Ministers from the Homelessness & Rough Sleeping Action Group.

Today we visited the Housing Minister Kevin Stewart MSP to deliver the messages we’ve gathered over the last few months from 425 people across Scotland who are homeless today or have been recently.


A big thanks to all of you for your time, advice and ideas. And for sharing your story so that homelessness and rough sleeping affects less people in the future. We’ve been impressed and inspired by you!

And thanks to the Minister for welcoming us. It was an early start to a very important day for us, and we felt listened to and assured that we can be a part of Scotland’s new plans to end homelessness.

Making sure the views of people with lived experience of homelessness inform this work has been an important priority for the Action Group from the very beginning. This work has been facilitated by GHN with support from Crisis and Scottish Government.

During December, 122 people with experience of homelessness took part in 5 Speakout events across the country – in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dumfries, Perth and Aberdeen. People discussed their own routes into homelessness, their experiences of using services, and their priorities for ending rough sleeping and homelessness in Scotland. You can read more about what people said here Aye We Can | December 2017 Report (PDF)

The focus shifted in January 2018 to offer a variety of opportunities for people to participate in their preferred way locally, with many taking part in small focus groups, in one-to-one interviews in person and on the phone, with some completing online surveys. We wanted to make sure that as well as bigger cities, people in smaller towns and rural areas also got to share their priorities for ending homelessness.

We have heard from people from all over Scotland – from Inverness, Oban, Shetland, Stirling, Falkirk – to Penicuik, Paisley, Irvine and Hamilton! We’ve also had the chance to learn more about the specific experiences and priorities of young people, women, people leaving prison, people with addictions, New Scots, people with ‘no recourse to public funds’ and many others who are particularly at risk of homelessness.

Your advice has directly shaped the 20 recommendations from the Action Group that Kevin Stewart agreed yesterday. We’re now preparing our final report to inform the next set of recommendations on temporary accommodation and ending homelessness in Scotland – so watch this space.

But so far people’s priorities have been clear.  If we are serious about ending rough sleeping in Scotland our key messages are:

  • Housing First and Fast: getting people their own home as quickly as possible. Most people don’t want to stay in ‘homeless’ accommodation – hostels and B&Bs are very unpopular;
  • Joined Up: the Council, NHS services and charities should work more closely together;
  • Staff Awareness: all staff should be decent, respectful and understand the background and often traumatic life experiences people have had;
  • Stop it: do more to prevent homelessness happening in the first place;
  • Count it: make sure rough sleeping and homelessness is monitored so that we know if it is reducing or not;
  • Collaborate with lived experience and make better use of peer-based approaches, learning directly from people with lived experience;
  • Be open: make sure the new £50m budget (over 5 years) to tackle homelessness is spent in a very open and honest way. People want to see a plan for that and also some feedback on how their advice and views are being taken forward.


People have told us that the idea of ending homelessness in Scotland has felt very distant, but that the work of the Action Group is making change feel possible.

There are a lot of people working very hard to not let you down. And there will also be different ways to keep collaborating with us so that you can be part of this change if you want to be. Stay in touch with David or Jim on 0141 420 7272 or email us at ayewecan@ghn.org.uk or follow us @GHNtweets or on Facebook


9:45am – 12:00 pm | Thursday 18 January 2018

Room 16, The Adelphi Centre, 12 Commercial Road, Glasgow G5 0PQ

Human trafficking and exploitation has been increasing, leading to a renewed focus on how we tackle it.

This session is for people working in homelessness services who may come across vulnerable people who have experienced, or are at risk of, trafficking or exploitation. It has been designed to allow everyone to learn more about the definition of human trafficking and how it may apply in our work, as well as to hear more about legal and practical responses here in Scotland and leave with practical information about how to identify risk and how to respond.

On the day you will hear directly from experts in the field – Police Scotland’s National Human Trafficking Unit, TARA (Trafficking Awareness Raising Alliance) and Migrant Help.

If you are interested in coming along please contact Jim Barclay on 0141 420 7272 or e-mail info@ghn.org.uk


New Centre for Homelessness Impact being set up by Crisis and Glasgow Homelessness Network; backed by Scottish and UK Governments



Charities Crisis and Glasgow Homelessness Network (GHN) have today announced that they have successfully secured funding for a new Centre for Homelessness Impact to be based in Glasgow, Edinburgh and London and set to formally launch in spring 2018.

The new Centre will analyse how to most effectively prevent and tackle homelessness. It will help policy-makers, commissioners and front-line practitioners build and use evidence about ‘what works’, supporting them to make effective use of resources and to improve impact. In all its work, the Centre will strive to make evidence accessible – through training, support for innovation, and interactive tools.

The announcement follows the publication in January 2017 of the feasibility study, Ending Homelessness Faster by Focusing on ‘What Works’.[1]

The Centre will be headed by Dr Ligia Teixeira, formerly Head of Research and Evaluation at Crisis, as Centre Director with Margaret-Ann Brunjes of GHN as Chair. The Centre aims to become fully independent by spring 2019. Its work will be directed by a board of nine members comprising senior leaders from the public, private and charitable sectors (see below for full list). Core funding has been committed to the venture, initially for three years, by philanthropist Humphrey Battcock.

The initial programme of work for the Centre will include:

  • Creating an evidence map and ‘what works’ guide to steer investment in homelessness services towards activities with the greatest impact
  • Develop an outcomes framework to help provide consistent aims and objectives
  • Designing standards of evidence to help service providers and policy makers improve decisions about which interventions are most effective

The Centre team will work closely with strategic partners to deliver this work, including: the UK Collaborative Centre for Housing Evidence, the Campbell Collaboration, Dartington Service Design Lab, Heriot-Watt University, the Faculty for Inclusion Health, the Wales Centre for Public Affairs, and the Alliance for Useful Evidence.



Scottish Minister for Local Government and Housing Kevin Stewart MSP said:

“I am delighted to give my backing to this new Centre for Homelessness Impact.

“We have set out significant commitments to eradicate homelessness and rough sleeping in Scotland. That includes the formation of a Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Action Group, set up in October, backed by £50 million to drive change over the next five years.”

“To meet these commitments we must use the power of evidence to ensure that we take actions that are going to really work, and do the most good possible for every pound spent. The Centre will be an important resource for the Action Group and others to draw on, helping to guide decisions and actions in the longer term.”

Homelessness Minister Marcus Jones MP said:

“It’s great news that funding has been secured for a new Centre to prevent and reduce homelessness more effectively.”
“This is a clear priority for this Government and insights from the Centre have the potential to provide us with a much deeper understanding of the most promising approaches in this area.”

Margaret-Ann Brunjes, Director of the Glasgow Homelessness Network said:

“It’s tough being homeless and, in all our different roles, it’s hard to be sure that what we decide and deliver is also what’s most effective. This Centre wants to help make that task easier and people’s lives better. This is an idea tested and now launching in Scotland but with real interest to the rest of the UK and beyond. I’m especially pleased to have the opportunity to support a uniquely qualified Board whose vast experience will guide and connect the Centre’s first steps”.

Jon Sparkes, Chief Executive of Crisis, said:

“Together, the homelessness sector helps many thousands of people each year – but we still have a long way to go before we end homelessness for good. This initiative has the potential to develop the means to do just that by helping the sector to harness the power of evidence and data to improve the impact of our work and make a real step change.”

[1] Teixeira, L. (2017) Ending Homelessness Faster by Focusing on ‘What Works’. https://www.crisis.org.uk/media/237356/ending_homelessness_faster_by_focusing_on_what_works_2017.pdf

The Centre’s Shadow Supervisory Board includes:

Stephen Aldridge
Director for Analysis and Data Department for Communities and Local Government

Humphrey Battcock,

Margaret-Ann Brunjes,
Director of Glasgow Homelessness Network and Board Chair

Lesley Fraser,
Director of Housing and Social Justice, Scottish Government

Professor Kenneth Gibb,
Director UK Collaborative Centre for Housing Evidence

Julie Hunter,
Business Strategy Manager North Lanarkshire Council

Jon Sparkes,
Chief Executive of Crisis

James Turner,
Deputy Chief Executive Education Endowment Foundation

Dr Rebekah Widdowfield,
Chief Executive Royal Society of Edinburgh.

CHI photo


David Ramsay, Development Worker, Glasgow Homelessness Network:

How to get communities in Glasgow ready for this new piece of work I am involved in?

At the start of the year I was involved in delivering 3 Participatory Budgeting events across the city. The areas involved were Priesthill/Househillwood, Parkhead and Govan.

Money from the Scottish Government Community Choices Fund had meant that, in partnership with Glasgow City Council and local Community Planning partners £25,000 was available for each of the three local communities to decide where the money would be best spent, depending on what the community members thought was a priority to them at the time.

After this piece of work was completed Glasgow Homelessness Network have successfully applied for funding from Scottish Government’s Aspiring Communities program to deliver 18 months of free training across nine areas of the city, this will give local communities the opportunity to get ready for the changes which will be happening over the next few years.

The changes are that the Scottish Government have made a commitment to allocate at least 1% of the local budget for communities to decide how the money should be spent, this is called Community Budgeting.

The areas initially identified for Community Budgeting training are Glasgow’s Thriving Places: Govan; Parkhead & Dalmarnock; Priesthill & Househillwood; Ruchill & Possilpark; Easterhouse; Greater Gorbals; Drumchapel; Lambhill & Milton; Springboig & Barlanark.

Part of my job will be to encourage local people to get involved in the training that will be delivered in their local area. Taking part in the training will give them the tools needed to fully take advantage of Community Budgeting when it soon arrives in their area. After the training, they will then become Community Budgeting Champions who will be able to pass on their expertise to the wider communities.

In each of the 9 areas we will be also be working with local schools to deliver a Community Budgeting event. There is a budget for £1000 for each school although I think the monetary value in the process is secondary and the value is in the pupils taking part in the process.

Community budgeting could be the way forward for communities throughout our city in the near future and having pupils understand and being involved in the process at the earliest possible point can only be beneficial for everyone involved in making our communities a better place.

The next thing for me is to start visiting community groups to promote the project. The most effective way to promote work in communities is by pounding the streets and visiting projects personally. This is by far the most time consuming but has the most effect as you are able to meet people face to face and get a feel for each area you are visiting.

It is really tempting to rely on online advertising such as Twitter and Facebook or sending out leaflets to be displayed on notice boards and attending some local meetings and networks. Maybe less time-consuming but does it actually work?

With that in mind I decided that the most effective use of my time to make the community budgeting process a success would be to block off a full afternoon and go knocking on some doors to tell people directly about what was happening in their area.

  • List of community projects to speak to – check
  • Best route mapped out – check
  • Bus timetables on hand – check
  • Information leaflets– check
  • Glasgow rain – check

If you are reading this blog and live in one of the 9 areas, and would like to become a Community Budgeting Champion, or just find out a little more about the project I’d love to hear from you.


0141 420 7272


Vote for Navigate




Please vote for us! >> bit.ly/VoteNavigate

Help fund Navigate Citizen Advocacy for 2 more years. NAVIGATE is about local people supporting local people. We recruit volunteers with lived and/or local experience who are fully trained by us to help clients: address difficult issues with housing and benefits; find the right service; attend housing appointments; attend Department for Work and Pensions assessments; make housing or homeless applications; and appeal sanctions and other decisions as necessary.

Views on the Social Security (Scotland) Bill


GHN responded to the Scottish Parliament’s Social Security Committee Call for Views on the Social Security (Scotland) Bill.

  • Our key points are:We believe the practical application of the founding principles is an important next step as the new social security system is developed.
  • We welcome a human rights based approach; for the approach to be effective, a common understanding of human rights for the local community and professionals must be established.
  • We have a particular interest in ensuring people are given the social security they are eligible for and how this can work in practice.
  • We believe the several stages of application and appeal can lead to people not receiving adequate social security that they would require to live, and the effects are multiplied for people who experience multiple and complex needs.

You can read our full response here. (PDF)

Richard talks about Keys to Learn


Since publishing this story, Richard has been offered two college places, and is currently choosing which to attend! 

The second Keys to Learn tenancy sustainment course took place in Paisley this summer, with seven people completing the timetable of digital skills, self-confidence building and becoming part of the community.  One month on, we caught up with everyone for a chat over a cup of tea and cake, and found out about their learning, work and volunteering experiences since completing the course.

Richard Graham, like many young people had experienced a bit of learning here, a bit of volunteering and working there.  Getting ready to move into his own home, he had started to think about a more stable future for himself and family…


So, you came along to the info day – what encouraged you to come along to the first day of the course?

‘Staff from my accommodation told me about the course and they were the ones who encouraged me to take part and also my friend (another KTL participant) encouraged me to go along too.’

What was most beneficial for you?

 ‘All of it. The experience, meeting new people and finding self-belief.  I know I can achieve anything I put my mind to.’

What’s next?

‘I applied for college and my interview is in August for Painting and Decorating. I will be receiving my own flat soon once all the repairs are done then I will get my keys. I am going to continue volunteering for Street Soccer and supporting my girlfriend and my baby girl.’

For more information on Keys to Learn, please contact Kelly or Pauline at info@ghn.org.uk 0141 420 7272.




GHN responded to the Scottish Parliament’s Call for Evidence on Homelessness. Our key points are:

  • Every case of homelessness in Scotland is an emergency. We need to change and simplify our overly-complex homelessness system to respond with urgency;
  • The local authority-led ‘Housing Options’ approach is making strides and provides the ideal foundation for building further change;
  • Scaling up the ‘Housing First’ rapid rehousing model is the practical change needed for people sleeping rough and facing multiple disadvantage.

And bring forward:

  • The housing activists and commentators, who should never stop asking difficult questions. People care about homelessness, and we need their fresh perspective;
  • The unique insight of people with lived experience of homelessness who are allies in the fight against homelessness in Scotland.

You can read our full response here

Friday 10th March 2017 1.30pm – 3.30pm
Glasgow Homelessness Network, Unit 16a, The Adelphi Centre, 12 Commercial Road, Glasgow G5 0PQ

Homeless World Cup Glasgow Legacy Project – Download a Programme  (PDF)

On behalf of Glasgow Life, Social Marketing Gateway will present Phase 1 of their evaluation of the Volunteer Programme Element of the Homeless World Cup Legacy Project. Your feedback on their findings and your thoughts as to the shape of the second phase of the evaluation of the Project, and of its impacts on Volunteers, will be welcomed. People using services who are already taking part in the Homeless World Cup Legacy Programme would be especially welcome. Please note that an individual must already be part of the Legacy Programme.

Contact Janice to book a place. Please let us know of you have any additional requirements:
Call 0141 420 7272
Text 07834 437 185
E-mail janice@ghn.org.uk