Press Release Issued by Homeless Project

Former First Minister Alex Salmond has congratulated Homeless Project Scotland on their life-saving new Welfare Centre – saying “I’m for night shelters because right now they’re needed”.

Alex visited Homeless Project Scotland’s new Welfare Centre in Glasgow on Sunday night and was visibly moved by the passion of founder Colin McInnes and his team of volunteers – as well as the stories he heard from service users.

Salmond said:

“Of course everybody, every politician, every single person in Scotland should want every citizen to have a decent home of their own, but right now that isn’t the case.

“If you are faced with a choice of sleeping rough in the streets being exposed to the violence, danger and unhealthy conditions or alternatively can have a roof over your head and somewhere warm to stay then I’m for night shelters until the day when they are no longer needed.

“But right now they are needed and Homeless Project Scotland should be congratulated for the practical work they are doing, whilst others go past on the other side.”

The Welfare Centre opened in December to feed hungry Scots free of charge, before the Night Shelter Colin had vowed to provide for years launched after Christmas.

Operating on an emergency basis to get rough sleepers off the streets out of the cold and into a safe warm bed, it has saved numerous lives.

According to Colin the shelter has helped 440 people in four weeks, while the soup kitchen is feeding 250-400 daily – with each person receiving four hot portions of food, so around 50,000 portions given away every month.

Colin said:

“It was an honour for Homeless Project Scotland and our dedicated team of volunteers to welcome Alex Salmond, former First Minister of Scotland, to our Welfare Centre.

“It was a proud moment to show him around the Centre, talk him through our facilities and how many people we are helping with the soup kitchen, our legal support and other services and of course the night shelter.

“Alex's endorsement of our work is huge for us – this is the first time we have been officially recognised and backed like this by a senior politician.

“He took the time on a cold Sunday night to come down and meet us, see what we are doing and talk to people in need of help.

“His support validates our mission but also shows yet again the importance of community-driven initiatives in tackling homelessness.

“We're grateful for his support and commitment to making a positive impact on the lives of those in need."

Colin and his team have battled poverty in Glasgow for six years, feeding hundreds of people every day with their soup kitchen.

Colin’s pleas for an indoor facility fell on deaf ears – until Glasgow businessman Barry Cushley offered the team use of a basement to get them off the streets for the cold months of winter.

Barry commented:

“It is fantastic to see Colin and his team finally getting a taste of the recognition they deserve – he has transformed an empty basement into an incredible facility full of warmth, compassion and most importantly hope.

“I wish Homeless Project Scotland was not needed – but it is. So please get behind Colin and his volunteers, his heroes.”

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