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Revamped services in Edinburgh

July 10 2009
Council committed to working with homelessness organisations Following on from the story, 'Service provision deal falls through', in the last edition of The Pavement, we asked what is the current situation on the new services to tackle homelessness in Edinburgh. Despite initial setbacks, including visiting support arrangements with SAMH falling through, new services to provide assistance have been introduced in the capital. The City of Edinburgh Council has maintained its commitment to working alongside several different organisations, with the intention of establishing a number of places where people can find support. These include The Bethany Christian Trust, Edinburgh Cyrenians, Streetwork, FourSquare, Community Help and Advice Initiative, Move On, Fresh Start, The Rock Trust, Granton Information Centre, Orchard and Shipman and Gowrie Home Care. One of the leading fronts of the initiative is to help prevent homelessness by getting to the root of problems. Councillor Norman Work, Chair of the Edinburgh Homelessness Forum, said: "Prevention is better than cure in many instances. We are providing more services that will help people stay in their homes in the long run." This aim will be aided by Edinburgh Cyrenians, who offer weekly visiting support and have Personal Advisors available to assist people at important housing meetings. The service revamp still includes crisis support for anyone at risk of sleeping rough and assistance is being provided to help clients find homes with good private landlords. Kate Poulson of Streetwork said, "Crisis service is an exciting addition to our current services. Working with the Council allows us to reach the most vulnerable people across the city. We're very supportive of the new strategy." It is hoped that there will now be a smooth transition period for the new services. The Council provides information on any changes clients might experience. Housing Convener, Councillor Paul Edie, commented, "We have put a lot of work into making sure that we are providing the best possible services for those who come to us for help. I am encouraged by the good work undertaken by these service providers so far and we look forward to tackling homeless together with them."