Cyrenians Blog

“In the old days,” she said, “I felt my job was to do the homelessness assessment to find a way of not helping the applicant. To catch them out or find a loophole. Nowadays my job is to find the best way of helping the applicant. I love my job now.”

This was a chance conversation during the coffee break at a conference in Glasgow on progress to the 2012 homelessness targets with a lady who’s been at the front desk of a council housing department dealing with people presenting as homeless throughout the last decade. It said it all to me.

In 2003 Scotland took the moral lead amongst nations by stating that a civilised country should not accept that people without a home should go unhelped. It had cross-party support. The Homelessness Task Force that devised the strategy was a cross sectoral partnership, including charities like Cyrenians with our feet in…

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