Tuesday, 29 January 2013

New GLC prevention of homelessness report published online

GLC's Prevention of Homelessness Project (POHP) has prevented 1,200 people in the Southside of Glasgow becoming homeless in the last two years. Govan Law Centre has run the Prevention of Homelessness Project in the city's South West based upon the belief that early intervention and holistic multidisciplinary services, tailored to each individual, can help prevent unnecessary evictions.

In our new POHP progress report for the Oak Foundation - which is published online here: 'Download GLC POHP report as PDF' - we explain how our new project has prevented 1,200 people from becoming homeless, saving about £25.5million in public money from December 2010 to December 2012. We believe if the approach of our scheme was extended nationwide it could potentially save the Scottish Government as much as £320m.

Mike Dailly, GLC's principal solicitor, said: "With our project, we show that early intervention works, but also that it has to be co-ordinated. Often people who are in these difficult situations will not go for help early on. We provide not just very fast specialist legal and money advice services, but we can also connect the person with any other services he or she may need."
The project employs a partnership between the centre, Govan Money Matters Advice Centre and Glasgow City Council's Southside Social Work Department, as well as different voluntary organisations, such as the Scottish Association For Mental Health.
It is designed to highlight that eviction and repossession are usually the tip of a whole range of social and associated problems for those who are vulnerable to the risk of homelessness.
The project recognises there are important indicators that could result in problems leading to eviction and homelessness. These could include those in rent arrears or living in poverty, or those with social worries, such as health or mental health problems.
People who look vulnerable are flagged up by the partnership to the Law Centre early on, which can then intervene or refer them to the appropriate support.
Alistair Sharp, GLC's senior project coordinator, said: "We are looking at savings to the public purse and preventing people facing the trauma of eviction and homelessness. Court action can be avoided by early intervention."


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