A senior Scottish minister has paid a flying visit to an Aberdeen charity – as the Government steps up the fight against homelessness.
Cabinet Secretary for Communities Aileen Campbell visited Aberdeen Foyer, a social enterprise that tackles youth unemployment and homelessness.
She met staff, users of the services and discussed a range of issues with chief executive Leona McDermid.
Established in Aberdeen in 1995 in response to concerns about youth homelessness and unemployment, the Foyer has reached beyond its early focus and provides a range of services across the region.
The charity now works with more than 1,600 people a year, providing education to help improve their job prospects and to get more access to housing.
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Last month, the Government announced people at risk of becoming homeless will benefit from extra support given to councils all across Scotland.
The Scottish Government has announced an additional £9 million worth of funding will be provided to local authorities across the country for “rapid rehousing” work.
The cash will help councils assist people facing the prospect of homelessness to quickly get into stable accommodation, with the support they need, and avoid being left on the street.
Ms Campbell, who also met bosses at the city council during her visit, hailed Scotland’s reputation for philanthropy.
She said: “I think in many ways Scotland is well recognised as leading the way in these sort of social enterprise endeavours.
“There is a long history of benevolence in the country, from Carnegie to Robert Owen, and I think over the last 10 years, since the financial crash, there has been a real drive for these sort of organisations. What we are trying to do is tackle homelessness and organisations like this have good stories to tell about securing people tenancies.”
Chief executive Leona McDermid said the Housing First project, which helps homeless people with multiple and complex needs into properties, had been at the heart of discussions.