What’s the best way to help homeless in glasgow?

I usually give money on the street but have been hearing recently of the damage that can sometimes do. Do any people who may be involved in homeless charities have advice?



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  1. You can always offer to buy food or drink if they’re by a shop. (I usually do this whenever I go into the shop opposite Polo, there’s almost always someone sitting by that cash machine. Tends to be a hot drink they ask for, sometimes a sandwich.)

  2. The one thing I was always told by the guys who’d come to the soup kitchen I used to help out with was that *wool socks* were really helpful. They stay warm, even when they’re wet, and yeah.. socks in general are apparently a big thing.

    Money is tricky, because it’s hard to know whether they’re on the street by a sequence of unfortunate events that befell them, or by their own inability to manage money for any one of a litany of reasons. I find it safer to err on the side of caution and ask *”do you want anything from the shop?”* instead, and if they say yes then I’ll invite them in with me, grab a basket and simply walk around with them and tell them to grab whatever they need/want. Good thing about that is that it also gives you a small chance to chat to them and find out a little more about their situation.

    For women, a little bag with some baby wipes, face cream and feminine hygiene products can be super helpful too – worth remembering.

    Not sure if this is exactly the kind of advice you were looking for but maybe it’s a point in the right direction.

    Thanks for caring, it’s easy to be apathetic and admirable that you’re not.

    EDIT: Just want to add this amazing bit of advice from /u/callsignhotdog from further down the thread, in fear that it may go missed by glancing passers by.. and seeing as I’m currently riding the top comment, it seems prudent.

    >Most importantly though, advocate for homeless people, shout down people who dismiss them and dehumanise them, and vote against policies that make homelessness worse. Donating money is a band aid, with time and a shift in attitude we won’t need to donate to anyone anymore.

  3. Space blankets. You can get 5 for a good price of less than a £1 each, they help with heat, waterproofing and can’t really abused in many ways. The people i give them to seem to be the most appreciative of any kind of thing i’ve given prior.

  4. Give them money. Obviously drug addiction is a massive problem and you do run the risk of your money being put towards drugs, yet a lot of homeless people in Glasgow have to resort to staying at the Bellgrove, which they have to pay for. It’s the only safe place some of them have, even then it’s a shithole and not exactly safe in comparison to an actual home. I know a guy who’s been homeless for a few years now and he’s unable to keep any possessions due to anything of value that he acquires being stolen from his room at the Bellgrove. Believe it or not, people who live on the street know better what they need to survive than you or I and in my opinion spending money on things you think they need, rather than letting them decide for themselves is completely patronizing and just serves to further enforce the notion that homeless people are somehow fundamentally incapable, rather than temporarily disadvantaged. If you feel you have the means to volunteer then that’s amazing, please do, but many don’t, though most have a couple of quid to spare.

  5. There’s a Facebook group called help the homeless Glasgow, they organise soup kitchens and giving out warm clothes etc, they’re always looking for people to help and regularly organise things you can join in to contribute! (:

  6. Giving the homeless food or drink, ask if they want something to eat and if they say no then they likely have been getting food from others or using their money to buy food.

    Small things, especially at this time of year, like hats, scarves, gloves, dry and clean socks, hand warmers, blankets, etc. would likely be useful too.

    Your time, if you have it. It must be lonely being homeless, so if you have nothing else, a 5-minute conversation is sure to at least help them feel better, make them feel more visible, less alone.

    Ask if they know where the soup kitchens and homeless shelters are and if they don’t let them know if you know.

    If they are sleeping rough, you can also contact the Simon Community on 0800 027 7466, and they will send out their staff to the person and assist them.

  7. Either support a charity or give them cash. Having a chat with them can help too.

    I’ve given packs to people containing the usual socks/some food etc. Usually totaling £5 each but I couldn’t help but think £5 in their pocket would have been more appreciated.

    Undoubtedly some or most your cash will be spent on drink/drugs but that’s the nature of it.

  8. I get the fear of giving money, but money can pay for a room for the night. There’s homeless people who are spoiled for McDonald’s burgers people bought them, but are sleeping in sub zero temperatures because they’ve no money for a room.

    Donate regularly to homeless charities, volunteer if you can, give food, money or whatever you feel comfortable giving to people on the streets.

    Most importantly though, advocate for homeless people, shout down people who dismiss them and dehumanise them, and vote against policies that make homelessness worse. Donating money is a band aid, with time and a shift in attitude we won’t need to donate to anyone anymore.

  9. I remember giving a guy a coffee and a roll and he scoffed as if “ffs no another coffee”. He was a bit of a dick. I also invited a guy called bernie, who stands at the KFC on the four corners, into greggs for something to eat. He was sound and clearly switched on. Didn’t mind when he proceeded to rip the arse out it. Two bottles of bru, two cakes, you name it 😂😂

    The wee old bald guy near St Enoch’s I give money to. He wants a drink and I don’t mind helping him out.

    Some people appreciate it and some are arseholes but you should still help if you’ve got enough yourself.

  10. Contact Glasgow City Mission, I helped out there a few years ago and they do an amazing job. Giving out sleeping bags etc.

    Also maybe speak with the people in Social Bite.

  11. There’s the night shelter in the east end you can donate to. They give people somewhere to sleep, some food, tea and coffee etc. They also provide things like socks and gloves and toiletries before they leave in the morning.

    It’s a really good service.

  12. Its not directly for the homeless but donations to food banks are a great help.

    There are numerous church groups (not directly affiliated with the churches they go to) spending Sunday evenings distributing food parcels to those who need it.

  13. I teach at Strathclyde and down the hill there is a guy that sells these big issue magazines. I sometimes get a roll and sausage from the corner shop and buy him one as well with a cup of tea. And we just have a quick chat over a short breakfast and he tells me about his house and kids etc. It really depends from person to person, but sometimes a nice cup of tea and roll with some chat can just make someone’s day. I’m not saying you need to do this everyone, I’m saying it can vary what you give to someone.

  14. The other day I was standing outside central and a man came up to me and just started talking. I think we talked for a good 20 min. He was asking me what I was doing (college) and he explained what had happened to him. The reason he was on the streets was because of some unfortunate events that had happened to him and he was saying how this was going to be his first Christmas alone. As we talked he even started crying and I felt gutted for him, he just needed someone to talk to and to let his emotions out. Gave him a pat on the back and tried my best to offer some help. Gave him £10 (what he needed to go towards getting a room for the night). He told me that sometimes just being able to talk to someone means more than the money. He was really nice and shook my hand and said thank you for speaking to me. Said that usually people walk past him and just treat him like dirt.

    Talking might not get them somewhere to stay or food but it’s so important. Imagine having no one to talk to. The other thing was that he said sometimes he just wishes he would never wake up and has thought about killing himself. It was a lot to take in but I tried my best to talk to him about it.

    After speaking to him it’s really changed how I think about things. We do need to remember that it could happen to anyone and that people living on the streets are humans too. I would usually walk past thinking that giving money isn’t going to help in the long run but perhaps just having a conversation will help them a lot, as it did (I hope) in this case.

    You could also tell them where to go and who to phone for help as they may not have that information to hand.

  15. I still think about this wee homeless guy I saw last year.

    I’m crap are carrying cash and genuinely never have any change. Last winter when it was god damn Baltic and the town was basically shut down and empty bar the odd 24hr news agent etc, I’d spent an hour walking to work and saw this young homeless lad was wearing nothing but a pair of jeans and a thin coat.

    The guy was sitting in the snow, blue as a smurf and I had nothing on me except a battered full Neros stamp card. Told him I was sorry I didn’t have anything else on me. I didn’t even have my bank card that day.

    Went back out a few hours later thinking I’d get him a soup or something but he wasn’t there. I’m still kinda hoping he maybe found an open Neros and was sat getting a heat.

    Sounds daft but I still can’t get that wee guy off my mind. I usually get myself a coffee at Neros most days and those cards mount up pretty quick so I’ve been saving them up, got them in my pocket. Maybe it’s a bit shit and scaffy but every one I’ve handed out so far has been pretty well received.

    TLDR: am a cashless shitebag and been saving up my completely coffee shop cards to give to wee homeless guys

  16. I would err on the side of caution by giving people on the streets money directly. More so because how they are going to use that money may not be as you think they will. I’ve worked in a bookies for 3 years and I’ve seen many people come in and play the gaming machines that either seem to be homeless or are begging. Usually we use our discretion of whether to take their business or not, it’s usually the latter if we know that they are begging. Just to give an idea on how much they make I’ve seen amounts of around £40-50 put in by people who were later known to be begging. Obviously this is just a cautionary tale and is in no way a reflection of what everyone is like and obviously there are those who do need help, but directly giving them money could be only helping to fuel any issues they may have and not actually be helpful for them or you could be giving money to people who don’t actually need it.

  17. Worked at Morris house soup kitchen for a while, if you’re gonna give homeless people food don’t give them crisps or anything hard, this is because some don’t have any teeth. Soft egg salad sandwiches are usually your best bet.

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A coeliac with a craving for Chinese food.

TIL The Bellgrove Hotel has its own Wikipedia page

TIL The Bellgrove Hotel has its own Wikipedia page