News & Features

Students Help Shelter To Fight Homelessness

A GROUP of second year GCU students have agreed to work with a homeless charity after a man died sleeping rough in Glasgow city centre.

Shortly after Matthew Bloomer’s death, graffiti calling for “no more homeless deaths” appeared on the disused BHS store on Sauchiehall street.

Graffiti was also calling to “let the people in” which led to calls from the public to open available vacant spaces in the city for the homeless.

Now students have teamed up with Shelter to raise awareness on the issue as the charity estimate that there are more than 5,000 rough sleepers a year in Scotland.

They also make the case that it’s just the tip of the iceberg. Last year, almost 30,000 households were assessed as statutory homeless and an unknown number of people are sofa surfing or are at risk of homelessness.

Their current campaign called “homelessness, far from fixed”, is trying to bring awareness to the fact that homelessness is currently a huge issue. Their aim is to find everyone a safe and affordable home, no matter what their circumstances are.

Scotland has one of the strongest rights for the homeless in the world, but with progress slowing down in recent years, Shelter is campaigning to make homelessness a top priority for the Scottish government and local authorities. They want them to focus mainly on prevention, temporary accommodation and complex needs of the homeless.

Shelter also offers advice and guidance to people with all kinds of housing problems, helping them to feel supported and protected. They campaign to bring aspects of bad housing to the attention of the media and the public.

The students, who were inspired by the Homeless World Cup being held in Glasgow last summer, have decided to work with the charity as a part of their community innovation project.

The Homeless Word Cup showed that by making homeless people feel valued in society, their quality of life could be greatly improved.

The group project will aim to raise Shelter’s profile by doing visual merchandising in their charity shops on Great Western Road along with creating a booklet showing the practices of visual merchandising and will make templates of social media pages to attract more people to their shops.

Shelter is looking for volunteers and donations, so if you have a free afternoon or some clothes you don’t wear anymore this might be your way of contributing to solving homelessness.

Featured photo credit: Aneta Milanowska