Forty-five homeless people died in Glasgow last year, according to official figures
Forty-five homeless people died in Glasgow last year, according to official figures from the city’s health and social care partnership.
Most of those who died – 43 people – were living in temporary accommodation at the time of their deaths.
Of the two people who died outside, one did not have any accommodation and died of substance misuse after leaving temporary accommodation four days earlier and the second had previously been in contact with homelessness services but had broken that off.
At the last official count, there were 29 people sleeping rough in Glasgow.
The health and social care partnership said that the majority of the homeless deaths were related to complex health issues associated with previous or current addiction, including mental health, while a smaller number were recorded as drugs deaths.
In just four months at Glasgow's winter night shelter last year, 17 overdose victims were revived by shelter staff.
The winter night shelter, which is run by Glasgow City Mission, can accommodate up to 40 people.
Staff used Naloxone, a drug which can revive people experiencing potentially fatal overdoses.
Naloxone is used across homelessness services in Glasgow, as the city, and Scotland, is battling a drug deaths crisis.
There were a record number of drugs deaths Scotland in 2018: 1,187 people died across the country, of which 280, or 24 per cent, were in Glasgow.
The health partnership is currently working on a drugs deaths action to respond to the drugs emergency.
Susanne Millar, interim chief officer of Glasgow City Health and Social Care Partnership, said: “Sadly, of the 45 people who died, the majority of those deaths were related to complex health issues often associated with previous or current addiction issues, including mental health, with a smaller number recorded as drugs deaths.
“Many of our service users who died had previous or existing addiction issues, some also with significant mental health needs.
“It is the complexity of those needs which contributed to their deaths, rather than issues relating to their housing status.
“The number of lives potentially saved at the winter night shelter demonstrates the scale of the problem.
“Unfortunately, this heartbreaking reality is replicated in our other homelessness services too.
“It is emotionally difficult for staff and trained volunteers at the night shelter, who work closely with service users and whom I'd personally like to thank for their dedication and professionalism in these difficult circumstances.”