The city’s most vulnerable homeless people are missing out on key services, according to experts.
A new map shows services are concentrated in the city centre, instead of the poorest areas where they are most needed.
This is an issue for those who are homeless or at risk as many of them do not have money to travel into the centre to access these services, say researchers.
The problem was highlighted when academics at Dundee University created the map of all homeless services in the city, to be used by different support agencies.
Dr Andrea Rodriguez, senior researcher, said: “The mapping is a list of services for providers so that they can communicate with each other and create a linked approach to helping clients.
“We did analysis in terms of geographical location and found that the majority of services are concentrated in the city centre and not the most deprived areas of Dundee.”
She said this often results in homeless people refusing services due to lack of funds to travel to them, or having them withdrawn if they miss appointments for the same reason.
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Dr Rodriguez said: “We need these services to be more evenly distributed across the city.
“We also need more prevention services. There are lots of services for those who are already homeless but not so many focused on stopping it happening in the first place.
“For example, it’s very common for people to become homeless due to family breakdown, especially young people – more cases could be avoided if we had services aimed at improving communication between families.
“The services that are there are doing great and working really hard to address all the issues, but homelessness is a difficult and complex situation and those who are affected by it have many needs.”
The mapping was put together by Dr Rodriguez, Garima Arora, Professor Ruth Freeman, and Dr Fernando Fernandes and was produced in partnership with Shelter Scotland and Dundee City Council.
Researchers plotted out locations of providers and compared them to areas of deprivation in the city.
Garima Arora said: “We found that only 22 of the 136 services mapped were in deprived areas, and that’s with treating each service with multiple locations as separate services.
“We also found that drop-ins, such as food hand-outs, are more likely to be evenly distributed across the city but there is still a concentration in the centre.
“Through the report we were able to identify where the gaps are in the services provided, like prevention.”
The results are being considered by Dundee City Council, which is using them to help redistribute services more evenly across the city and increase services of need.
Neighbourhood services convener Councillor Anne Rendall said: “The issues surrounding homelessness are complex and along with partners we have been working hard to ensure the services we provide meet the need.
“The council’s Housing Options & Homelessness Strategic Plan is being delivered and it includes a review of temporary accommodation, the city’s role as a pathfinder in relation to the innovative Housing First model and the creation of local rapid rehousing transition plans to eradicate homelessness in Scotland.”