Scottish Government steps in to support asylum seekers in Glasgow faced with homelessness

Written by Jenni Davidson on 9 August 2018 in News

The Scottish Government has offered £110,000 for charities to provide accommodation and prevent destitution

Glasgow City Chambers - Image credit: Viv Lynch via Flickr

The Scottish Government is to give £110,000 emergency funding to help asylum seekers in Glasgow facing homelessness and ‎destitution.

The funding will allow charities to provide support to asylum seekers until their legal options have been exhausted.

The money will go to the Destitute Asylum Seeker Service (DASS), which assists refused asylum seekers who have exhausted their appeal rights to find a route out of destitution and resolve their situation.

It will allow the service’s three partner charities – the Scottish Refugee Council, the Refugee Survival Trust and the British Red Cross – to double their capacity to support people and provide accommodation for the next six months.

Communities Secretary Aileen Campbell said: "While we welcome the pause in the issue of lock change notices, this is only a temporary measure, and the fact remains that destitution and homelessness are built into the current asylum system – placing hundreds of people at risk.  

“The plight of people threatened with eviction demands a resolute and humanitarian approach and we cannot see people turned on to the streets because of the failure of the Home Office’s asylum policy.

“We all have a moral duty to do what we can to help those most in need and this additional funding, while a short term solution, will provide urgent assistance needed.

“The Scottish Government wants to work with the Home Office to improve support for asylum seekers at all stages of the process, and find a sustainable, long term solution to ensure that the current situation, caused by the Home Office’s failed processes, can never happen again in Scotland.

“This needs to include equity of funding for Glasgow City Council which is a Home Office dispersal area and has welcomed asylum seekers.

“It is unacceptable to deny funding to Glasgow when it is available to English councils.”

Sabir Zazai, Chief Executive of Scottish Refugee Council said: “The last few weeks have shown just how desperately we need a safety net for people at risk of homelessness and destitution.

“Our asylum advisors provide intensive support and advocacy for people at a critical moment in their lives, when their claim for refugee protection is refused and they face destitution on the streets of Glasgow.

“People often find themselves in this situation through no fault of their own. The UK’s asylum system is complicated and mistakes in decision making and administrative delays leave people in limbo, vulnerable and homeless. But we all have rights.

“Our service works with people to help them access those rights and assess their options, intervening to prevent people falling into abject destitution, something no one should face in our society.”

The Scottish Refugee Council already receives £534,000 per year from the Scottish Government’s equality budget, while British Red Cross receives £25,000 per year.

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