February 18, 2009 by  
Filed under The Editor

At the LOCAL NEWS we always have more good stories than we have space to publish them.  Our mission has always been to provide a platform for local information to be shared, examined, discussed, aired and debated. The two LOCAL NEWS titles  – LOCAL NEWS SOUTH and LOCAL NEWS northWESTeast –  continue to do that South of the River Clyde where we have been since 1997 and to the communities on the other side of the river in the West, North and now the East of Glasgow. There is some cross-fertilisation of stories. We believe that the good things and achievements in one area, could be useful in other areas if only people knew about them. What is useful to note this month is that the serious warning of a mental health epidemic forecast by professionals – on the Southside – concerned with people who are in danger of becoming homeless – needs to be taken seriously in every quarter. So we’re using the benefits of our website as well as our traditional LOCAL NEWS papers to spread the word.

Homeless Mental Health Warning

The team who combined to take the stress out of homelessness.A mental health epidemic looms as evictions and house repossessions dramatically increase the number of people likely to become homeless.

Three agencies which worked together to prevent homelessness, have piloted a way to reduce the stress of people facing eviction and to address the often very complex, issues and problems which surfaced with each case.

South West Glasgow Community Health and Care Partnership, Govan Law Centre and Money Matters, Money Advice Centre combined in an s.11 Partnership – named after section 11 of the Homelessness etc (Scotland) Act 2003, which comes into force on April 1.

Because the person in difficulties was seen by the same professional from the beginning, trust was gained and the clients all praised the help they had received. ‘It was so good to have someone on my side,’ said one. ‘They helped me see the light at the end of the tunnel,’ said a young mum.  But almost everyone developed mental or physical illnesses as a result of facing homelessness.

The s.11 Partnership saved the public purse between £24,000 and £80,000 per client and up to £7,000 per client in NHS spend. But their report ‘Prevention of Homelessness Partnership Evaluation’ by Danny Phillips Associates published at the beginning of February stated that the s.11 Partnership is not sustainable if voluntary organisations such as theirs have to supplement the costs from reserves.

*In January the s.11 Partnership recorded a 66% increase in their workload with 501 new cases of potentially homeless people asking for help.