Homelessness project on way to Dundee

People who have lived through homelessness, including some who still don’t have a permanent home, are to offer advice and support to others through an innovative project in Dundee.

The “Time for Change” volunteers will be trained by housing and homelessness charity Shelter Scotland to take housing advice and support to people in the community.

Academics from the Institute for Social Policy, Housing and Equalities Research (I-SPHERE) at Heriot-Watt University will evaluate the impact of the project on both volunteers and the people they help.

The project is based on a service in Glasgow set up by Shelter Scotland and co-designed by people who have been homeless, which found many people were unaware of their right to help from their local council.

It will run for a year and has been given £132,903 from the social innovation fund from the Scottish Government, which is the managing authority for EU structural funds in Scotland.

Alison Watson, deputy director of Shelter Scotland, said: “Our Glasgow Time for Change project is still relatively young but has already achieved a lot, so we are delighted to have won funding alongside I-SPHERE to test out this project in a second Scottish city.

“The model aims to address some of the issues people with more complex needs say they have getting into good housing and keeping it.

“Currently, far too many end up stuck in a cycle of homelessness.”

The Dundee project will provide evidence on the kinds of peer-led housing advice and support that make the most difference to those people who have experienced homelessness at some point in their lives.