City home­less cen­tre set to shut in weeks

Evening Times - - NEWS - BY STE­WART PATER­SON

ACENTRE for young home­less peo­ple is to close its doors later this month af­ter a three-month re­prieve.

The James Shields Cen­tre in Pol­lok­shaws will close its doors on Jan­uary 23, af­ter it was in­tended to close last Oc­to­ber.

The cen­tre, run by char­ity Quar­ri­ers, was told by Glas­gow City Coun­cil it would not be fund­ing it in the fu­ture as the fa­cil­ity was no longer ap­pro­pri­ate.

A “re­con­fig­ured” ser­vice will be opened in Toll­cross, due to open this month.

The James Shields cen­tre pro­vided bed­sit style ac­com­mo­da­tion for 37 peo­ple aged 17 to 25, many, but not all, with ad­dic­tion is­sues.

How­ever, con­cerns over the con­di­tion of the build­ing led to the coun­cil with­draw­ing fund­ing for ser­vices housed there.

Quar­ri­ers said it is work­ing with the city coun­cil to find al­ter­na­tive ac­com­mo­da­tion for the cur­rent res­i­dents.

How­ever, one res­i­dent said with weeks un­til the cen­tre closes she doesn’t know where she will be liv­ing. She said: “None of us have heard from them. ”

Glas­gow City Coun­cil said that al­ter­na­tive pro­vi­sion like sup­ported ac­com­mo­da­tion or their own ten­ancy could be a bet­ter al­ter­na­tive to some of the young peo­ple housed at the cen­tre.

Quar­ri­ers will be de­liv­er­ing some ser­vices from the Toll­cross fa­cil­ity.

Andy Wil­liamson, Quar­ri­ers Deputy Chief Ex­ec­u­tive and Ser­vice Di­rec­tor, said: “Quar­ri­ers is work­ing with Glas­gow City Coun­cil Health and So­cial Care Part­ner­ship to re­con­fig­ure the ex­ist­ing James Shields Ser­vice.

“No­tice was served on the build­ing out of which the ser­vice cur­rently op­er­ates and the build­ing will close on Jan­uary 23, 2020.

“The re­con­fig­ured ser­vice will be based in Toll­cross and is sched­uled to open in Jan­uary.

“Quar­ri­ers’ pri­or­ity through­out is for the young peo­ple at the ser­vice and is sup­port­ing Glas­gow City Coun­cil HSCP whose role it is to find suit­able al­ter­na­tive ac­com­mo­da­tion.”

A coun­cil spokesman said: “The ser­vice was no longer ap­pro­pri­ate for the young peo­ple that use it, both in terms of its scale and the very dated en­vi­ron­ment it pro­vided.

“We are, in­stead, com­mit­ted to sup­port­ing peo­ple ex­pe­ri­enc­ing home­less­ness or at risk of home­less­ness, in their own ten­an­cies or in more ap­pro­pri­ate, smaller scale sup­ported liv­ing ar­range­ments.

“Dis­cus­sions with Quar­ri­ers have been on-go­ing for al­most two years and we have been work­ing closely with each of the young ser­vice users to en­sure they are sup­ported as they move on to more ap­pro­pri­ate ac­com­mo­da­tion.

“For some young peo­ple, more ap­pro­pri­ate ac­com­mo­da­tion will be ei­ther ten­ancy of their own (with sup­port) or smaller scale, sup­ported ac­com­mo­da­tion in build­ings that are fit for pur­pose.”

The James Shields Cen­tre will close later this month

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