Rough sleepers handed free phone power packs
Political Correspondent HOMELESS people sleeping rough on Glasgow’s streets are to be given power banks to help them keep their mobile phones fully charged.
Simon Community Scotland is handing out the battery power packs so people can always be able to call for help.
The charity said rough sleepers are more likely to be attacked and robbed and having a phone could be a lifeline.
The packs will be distributed and collected by Simon Community street team volunteers who will hand back fully charged ones.
Staff and volunteers from the charity take part in nightly walks through the city centre identifying rough sleepers and offering help to anyone who needs it.
They help people access accommodation and health services and encourage them to phone the helpline when they need assistance.
The Simon Community said it has identified there is a high level of mobile phone ownership among rough sleepers.
However, when their battery runs out of charge they have difficulty finding a way of charging it.
The charity hopes this will allow people to be able to call support services for help.
The packs contain a list of important numbers on them.
Hugh Hill, director of Services at Simon Community, said: “For most of us, our phone is a crucial connection to our family, friends and the outside world.
“If you’re on the street, it’s more important than that; your phone is a lifeline, security and, in some cases, it’s your only means of help.”
Simon Community Scotland said a person sleeping rough is nine times more likely to commit suicide and almost 50 times more likely to be robbed than the rest of society.
Mr Hill added: “Our focus is always about getting people off the streets but, where that’s not possible, we want people to be safe – which is why we’re planning to issue portable phone chargers to people on the street.”
Last winter, more than 600 people used the Glasgow City Mission winter shelter which opens to give people somewhere to sleep in the coldest months of the year.
The charity operates the Rough Sleepers and Vulnerable Peoples (RSVP) service which can be contacted on on 0800 027 7466
The public is being asked to donate £5 to purchase more power packs and top-up cards. Donations can be made by texting CHRG35 to 70070.
A Simon Community Scotland support workers hands out a phone power bank to a homeless man